Picture of Discern

Be it a time when people were honest or be it a time when people were not honest, there has always been a need to distinguish the right from the wrong for his/her own good. This act of judging the right from the wrong is the act of discernment.

Origin: Its first known usage dates back to 14th century. It has originated from the French word discerner and from Latin word discenere, both of which mean to separate and distinguish.
Pronunciation: dih-surn, -zurn

Meanings of Discern

1) To recognize/identify something with the help of sight and other senses.
2) To recognize/identify the difference between two things.
3) To recognize something mentally.
4) To recognize something to be different.

Master’s tip to learn Discern

Discern can be easily learnt by associating it with word concern, as the second half of both the words .i.e. cern is the same, hence giving both the words same sound to some extent. Further, if you have a concern to discern someone’s motives for someone else’s good then you have learnt the word with quite an ease.

Sentence examples for Discern

1) He could not discern the way ahead due to heavy fog. (Verb)
2) He discerned a heavy foul smell coming from his room. (Verb)
3) With his experience in public relations, he can easily discern when people lie in his face. (Verb)
4) He cannot discern the difference between lie and truth. (Verb)
5) We have not been able to discern any change in the symptoms of his illness despite such good treatment. (Verb) ( if change in symptoms it would be perceiving something different).
6) The meaning of his statement remains undiscerned. (Adjective)
7) He is not a good discerner when it comes to people’s behaviour, hence he is usually fooled. (Noun )