from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- transitive v. To perceive with the eyes or intellect; detect.
- transitive v. To recognize or comprehend mentally.
- transitive v. To perceive or recognize as being different or distinct; distinguish. See Synonyms at see1.
- intransitive v. To perceive differences.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To detect with the senses, especially with the eyes.
- v. To perceive, recognize, or comprehend with the mind; to descry.
- v. To distinguish something as being different from something else; to differentiate.
- v. To perceive differences.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- transitive v. To see and identify by noting a difference or differences; to note the distinctive character of; to discriminate; to distinguish.
- transitive v. To see by the eye or by the understanding; to perceive and recognize.
- intransitive v. To see or understand the difference; to make distinction.
- intransitive v. To make cognizance.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To distinguish; perceive the difference between(two or more things); discriminate.
- To indicate or constitute the difference between; show the distinction between.
- To see distinctly; separate mentally from the general mass of objects occupying the field of vision; perceive by the eye; descry.
- To discover by the intellect; gain knowledge of; become aware of; distinguish.
- Synonyms and To perceive, recognize, mark, note, espy, descry.
- To perceive a difference or distinction; make or establish a distinction; discriminate: as, to discern between truth and falsehood.
- To see; penetrate by the eye.
- To have judicial cognizance: with of.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. detect with the senses
Middle English discernen, from Old French discerner, from Latin discernere, to separate : dis-, apart; see dis- + cernere, to perceive; see krei- in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English discernen, from Old French discerner, from Latin discernere ("to separate, divide, distinguish, discern"), from dis- ("apart") + cernere ("to separate"); see certain. (Wiktionary)