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Discern synonyms

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To watch or be present without participating actively:
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  1. To watch or be present without participating actively:
  2. To say or mention casually; remark
  3. To be or become aware of, especially through careful and directed attention; notice:
Used in the imperative for the purpose of calling attention.
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  1. Used in the imperative for the purpose of calling attention.
  2. To see, look upon, or gaze at:
To become aware of (something) directly through any of the senses, especially sight or hearing:
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  1. To become aware of (something) directly through any of the senses, especially sight or hearing:
  2. To become aware (of) through one of the senses, esp. through sight
  3. To cause or allow the mind to become aware of (a stimulus):
To regard; observe; pay attention to
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  1. To regard; observe; pay attention to
  2. To mention; refer to; comment on
  3. To take notice of; observe:
To catch sight of (something that is distant, partially hidden, or obscure); glimpse.
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  1. To catch sight of (something that is distant, partially hidden, or obscure); glimpse.
  2. (Intransitive) To look or search narrowly; to look about; to watch; to take notice; to spy.
  3. To catch sight of; to perceive with the eyes; to discover, as a distant object partly concealed, or not obvious to notice; to see at a glance; to discern unexpectedly; to spy; as, to espy land; to espy a man in a crowd.
To catch sight of; discern (distant or obscure objects)
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  1. To catch sight of; discern (distant or obscure objects)
  2. To discover by careful observation or scrutiny; detect:
  3. To discover; to disclose; to reveal.
To accept as a fact; admit; accept
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  1. To accept as a fact; admit; accept
  2. To show acquaintance with (a person) by greeting
  3. (Biology) To exhibit recognition for (an antigen or a substrate, for example).
To mark for future consideration
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  1. To mark for future consideration
  2. (Sports) To act as a spotter for (a gymnast, for example).
  3. To cause a spot or spots to appear on, especially:
To notice or learn, especially by making an effort:
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  1. To notice or learn, especially by making an effort:
  2. To be the first, or the first of one's group or kind, to find, learn of, or observe.
  3. To find out; learn of the existence of; realize
To be an identifying characteristic of; make noticeable or different:
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  1. To be an identifying characteristic of; make noticeable or different:
  2. To perceive or indicate differences; discriminate:
  3. In a judicial decision, or an argument such as a brief in support of a particular legal outcome, to note or argue that a prior decision of the same or another court is inapplicable as precedent, because of significant differences in the facts or in the legal posture of the two cases. In a judicial decision, or an argument such as a brief in support of a particular legal outcome, to note or argue that a prior decision of the same or another court is inapplicable as precedent, because of significant differences in the facts or in the legal posture of the two cases.
(Mathematics) To calculate the derivative or differential of (a function).
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  1. (Mathematics) To calculate the derivative or differential of (a function).
  2. To become distinct or specialized; acquire a different character.
  3. (Math.) To work out the differential or derivative of (a function)
(Idiomatic) To discover, as by asking or exploring.
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To settle (a dispute, question, etc.) conclusively; decide
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  1. To settle (a dispute, question, etc.) conclusively; decide
  2. To decide or settle (a dispute, for example) conclusively and authoritatively.
  3. To decide; resolve
(Archaic) To make certain, definite, and precise.
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  1. (Archaic) To make certain, definite, and precise.
  2. To discover with certainty, as through examination or experimentation.
  3. To find out definitely; to discover or establish.
(--- Law) To hear and decide on in a court of law:
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  1. (--- Law) To hear and decide on in a court of law:
  2. To act or decide as a judge.
  3. To determine the winner of (a contest) or settle (a controversy)
To take hold of mentally; perceive; understand
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  1. To take hold of mentally; perceive; understand
  2. To become conscious of, as through the emotions or senses; perceive:
  3. To grasp mentally; understand:
To recognize the difference between; distinguish
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  1. To recognize the difference between; distinguish
  2. To make distinctions on the basis of class or category without regard to individual merit, especially to show prejudice on the basis of ethnicity, gender, or a similar social factor:
  3. To see the difference (between things); distinguish
To discover (a distant or obscure object) by the eye; to espy; to discern or detect.
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  1. To discover (a distant or obscure object) by the eye; to espy; to discern or detect.
  2. To catch sight of; discern (distant or obscure objects)
  3. To discover by careful observation or scrutiny; detect:
To separate or mark off by differences; perceive or show the difference in; differentiate
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  1. To separate or mark off by differences; perceive or show the difference in; differentiate
  2. To perceive distinctly; discern:
  3. In a judicial decision, or an argument such as a brief in support of a particular legal outcome, to note or argue that a prior decision of the same or another court is inapplicable as precedent, because of significant differences in the facts or in the legal posture of the two cases. In a judicial decision, or an argument such as a brief in support of a particular legal outcome, to note or argue that a prior decision of the same or another court is inapplicable as precedent, because of significant differences in the facts or in the legal posture of the two cases.
  1. To remove by picking
  2. To select
  3. (Idiomatic) to detect using one's senses (sight, smell, hearing, touch, taste)
To place in or on a given spot or spots; locate
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  1. To place in or on a given spot or spots; locate
  2. (Sports) To act as a spotter for (a gymnast, for example).
  3. To become marked with spots:
To go to see (a performance, for example):
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  1. To go to see (a performance, for example):
  2. To become cognizant or aware of suddenly:
  3. To get (something required), usually quickly or for a brief period:
To catch sight of (something difficult to discern).
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  1. To catch sight of (something difficult to discern).
  2. To catch sight of; discern (distant or obscure objects)
  3. To discover by careful observation or scrutiny; detect:
To discover or ascertain the existence, presence, or fact of.
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  1. To discover or ascertain the existence, presence, or fact of.
  2. To learn something hidden and often improper about:
  3. To catch or discover, as in a misdeed
To catch sight of (something that is distant, partially hidden, or obscure); glimpse.
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  1. To catch sight of (something that is distant, partially hidden, or obscure); glimpse.
  2. (Intransitive) To look or search narrowly; to look about; to watch; to take notice; to spy.
  3. To catch sight of; to perceive with the eyes; to discover, as a distant object partly concealed, or not obvious to notice; to see at a glance; to discern unexpectedly; to spy; as, to espy land; to espy a man in a crowd.
To appear by glimpses.
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  1. To appear by glimpses.
  2. To look quickly; glance (at)
  3. To see or view briefly or incompletely.
To determine the location of (a target, the enemy, etc.)
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  1. To determine the location of (a target, the enemy, etc.)
  2. To pick out; detect; see; recognize
  3. To become marked with spots:
To watch or observe closely and secretly, usually with unfriendly purpose
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  1. To watch or observe closely and secretly, usually with unfriendly purpose
  2. To investigate or observe something, especially in secret:
  3. To catch sight of; see:
To discover (a distant or obscure object) by the eye; to espy; to discern or detect.
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  1. To discover (a distant or obscure object) by the eye; to espy; to discern or detect.
  2. To discover by careful observation or scrutiny; detect:
  3. To see.
To catch or discover, as in a misdeed
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  1. To catch or discover, as in a misdeed
  2. To discover or ascertain the existence, presence, or fact of.
  3. To discern (something hidden or subtle):
To perceive or indicate differences; discriminate:
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  1. To perceive or indicate differences; discriminate:
  2. In a judicial decision, or an argument such as a brief in support of a particular legal outcome, to note or argue that a prior decision of the same or another court is inapplicable as precedent, because of significant differences in the facts or in the legal posture of the two cases. In a judicial decision, or an argument such as a brief in support of a particular legal outcome, to note or argue that a prior decision of the same or another court is inapplicable as precedent, because of significant differences in the facts or in the legal posture of the two cases.
  3. To separate or mark off by differences; perceive or show the difference in; differentiate
To evaluate (academic work) according to a scale of letters or numbers; grade.
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  1. To evaluate (academic work) according to a scale of letters or numbers; grade.
  2. To observe; note; take notice of; heed
  3. To give attention to; notice:
To take notice; give heed:
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  1. To take notice; give heed:
  2. (Regional) To bring (an object or idea) to mind; remember.
  3. To pay attention to:
To mention particularly
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  1. To mention particularly
  2. (Obsolete) Contraction of ne mote (“may not").
  3. To show; indicate:
To mention; refer to; comment on
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  1. To mention; refer to; comment on
  2. To perceive with the mind; detect:
  3. To take notice of; observe:
To watch or be present without participating actively:
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  1. To watch or be present without participating actively:
  2. To say or mention casually; remark
  3. To be or become aware of, especially through careful and directed attention; notice:
To express in words or writing, as observed or noticed; to state; to say; -- often with a substantive clause
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  1. To express in words or writing, as observed or noticed; to state; to say; -- often with a substantive clause
  2. To mark again (a piece of work).
  3. To say or write as an observation or comment
To have the power to perceive with the eyes:
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  1. To have the power to perceive with the eyes:
  2. To consider:
  3. To perceive with the eye:
To perceive or show the difference in or between; discriminate.
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  1. To perceive or show the difference in or between; discriminate.
  2. To make different by alteration or modification.
  3. (Math.) To work out the differential or derivative of (a function)
To recognize the difference between; distinguish
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  1. To recognize the difference between; distinguish
  2. To make distinctions on the basis of class or category without regard to individual merit, especially to show prejudice on the basis of ethnicity, gender, or a similar social factor:
  3. To see the difference (between things); distinguish
To separate or mark off by differences; perceive or show the difference in; differentiate
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  1. To separate or mark off by differences; perceive or show the difference in; differentiate
  2. To make famous or eminent; give distinction to
  3. To perceive or indicate differences; discriminate:
To be able to distinguish; recognize as distinct:
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  1. To be able to distinguish; recognize as distinct:
  2. To have a practical understanding of, as through experience; be skilled in:
  3. To regard as true beyond doubt:
To see the differences between; distinguish or discriminate between
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  1. To see the differences between; distinguish or discriminate between
  2. To come apart; become detached:
  3. To terminate a contractual relationship with (someone); discharge.
To express in words; utter; say
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  1. To express in words; utter; say
  2. To reveal something that is not supposed to be revealed, especially something that someone has done wrong:
  3. To let know; inform; acquaint

Synonym Study

  • Observe and notice both connote some measure of attentiveness, though the former may imply a more conscious act of will, and both usually suggest use of the sense of sight to observe an eclipse, to notice a sign
  • Distinguish implies perceiving clearly or distinctly by sight, hearing, etc. he distinguished the voices of men down the hall
  • Perceive implies recognition by means of any of the senses, and, with reference to mental apprehension, often implies keen understanding or insight to perceive a change in attitude
  • Discern implies a making out or recognizing of something visually or mentally to discern one's motives
Find another word for discern. In this page you can discover 53 synonyms, antonyms, idiomatic expressions, and related words for discern, like: observe, behold, make out, perceive, notice, espy, descry, recognize, spot, discover and distinguish.