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discern


The second picture has more pixels, but the human eye can’t discern the difference.
  to notice or understand something — often something that is not obvious
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discerned discern discernible discerner discernable discerns indiscernible
Strongly Associated with:   discerning
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Samples:
  • The second picture has more pixels, but the human eye can’t discern the difference.
  • She prays to discern good from evil in all of its disguises.
  • The good neighbor looks beyond the external accidents and discerns those inner qualities that make all men human and, therefore, brothers.
    Martin Luther King Jr.
  • It was impossible to discern clear facial features, but he was certain it was a woman;
    Stieg Larsson  --  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

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  • And how confident are you in your ability to discern what indeed is good for you, or what is evil?
    William P. Young  --  The Shack
  • Harry was staring unblinkingly ahead of him, trying to discern shapes through the gloom...
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • It was an old model Ford, long and wide, a dark color I couldn’t discern in the moon light.
    Khaled Hosseini  --  The Kite Runner
  • ...after a while, Kate discerned a pattern in their arrivals and departures.
    Robert Cormier  --  After the First Death
  • Alas! if he discern such sinfulness in his own white soul, what horrid spectacle would he behold in thine or mine!
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • If Luma felt any sense of satisfaction, it was difficult to discern.
    Warren St. John  --  Outcasts United

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  • the travelers could scarcely discern the fort of Chupenie
    Jules Verne  --  Around the World in 80 Days
  • as I discern, It burneth in the Capels’ monument.
    William Shakespeare  --  Romeo and Juliet
  • On examining the contents of the other packs, I find the only discernible difference is that they contain both gray and white outfits.
    Suzanne Collins  --  Mockingjay
  • I seemed to discern some signs of emotion upon the butler’s white face.
    Arthur Conan Doyle  --  The Hound of the Baskervilles
  • What from the cape can you discern at sea?
    William Shakespeare  --  Othello, the Moor of Venice
  • Though there had been no discernible change in the light since the sun and blue sky hadn’t appeared that morning, it still felt like a darkness spread over the Glade.
    James Dashner  --  The Maze Runner
  • He cut their hair without any discernible skill, often pulling great clumps out with the blunt scissors.
    Jane Yolen  --  The Devils Arithmetic
  • He had discerned a clear overtone of tragedy in the crier’s voice, and even now he could still hear it as it grew dimmer and dimmer in the distance.
    Chinua Achebe  --  Things Fall Apart
  • he could but dimly discern the others who were brought there
    Charles Dickens  --  A Tale of Two Cities
  • The coach windows were open and the passengers surprisingly were hanging out; they were all men, I could discern, all young, all alike.
    John Knowles  --  A Separate Peace
  • Atticus kept us in fits that evening, gravely reading columns of print about a man who sat on a flagpole for no discernible reason, which was reason enough for Jem to spend the following Saturday aloft in the treehouse.
    Harper Lee  --  To Kill a Mockingbird
  • But the magistrate was half blind and half childish, so he couldn’t reasonably be expected to discern what other people did.
    Charles Dickens  --  Oliver Twist
  • akin to smashing clocks together to discern their internal workings.
    Dan Brown  --  Angels & Demons
  • he was also a direct male-line descendant of Genghis Khan, though intervening generations and racial mixing had so juggled his genes that he had no discernible Mongoloid characteristics,
    Douglas Adams  --  The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
  • He looked stealthily at his companions, feeling sure that they must discern in his face evidences of this pursuit.
    Stephen Crane  --  The Red Badge of Courage
  • The will of the gods is hard to discern.
    Rick Riordan  --  The Son of Neptune
  • In another moment she would step forth into the night, and his eyes, accustomed to the obscurity, would discern her as clearly as though she stood in daylight.
    Edith Wharton  --  Ethan Frome
  • ...he could see nothing at all; then he began dimly to discern the green branches of pine trees, reaching through the mist.
    Michael Crichton  --  Jurassic Park
  • the floor was covered in identical cups rolling in every direction, the original impossible to discern amongst them.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  • But whatever blemishes others might discern in William, to his friend’s mind he was faultless;
    George Eliot  --  Silas Marner
  • He stopped at the edge of a puddle and bent to examine his reflection, curious if he could discern what made him so different.
    Christopher Paolini  --  Eldest
  • ...and no torch, or other artificial source of light was discernible;
    Edgar Allan Poe  --  The Fall of the House of Usher
  • Yet ’tis no easy matter to discern
    The temper of a man, his mind and will,
    Sophocles  --  Antigone
  • It was Rohleder who took the pictures that, when developed, revealed Hickock’s dusty footprints in the Clutter cellar, prints the camera could discern, though not the human eye.
    Truman Capote  --  In Cold Blood
  • Through our own recovered innocence we discern the innocence of our neighbors.
    Henry David Thoreau  --  Walden
  • In most instances, however, the thought units are clearly discernible, and the decision on how to break up a passage into such units is a matter of common sense and a feel for the rhythm of the argument.
    Chaim Potok  --  The Chosen
  • He and his wife spoke English with an accent which was only discernible through its un-English emphasis and a certain carefulness and deliberation.
    Kate Chopin  --  The Awakening
  • Hatsue studied the photograph for a long time, particularly Kabuo’s eyes and mouth, to see what she might discern there.
    David Guterson  --  Snow Falling on Cedars
  • After he had seated himself, she fixed her eyes steadfastly upon the veil, but could discern nothing of the dreadful gloom that had so overawed the multitude:
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Minister’s Black Veil
  • Disguised he came; but those his children dear
    Their parent soon discerned, though in disguise.
    John Milton  --  Paradise Lost
  • Cedric turns it down a barely discernible notch.
    Ron Suskind  --  A Hope in the Unseen
  • Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear. ... It is a man’s part to discern them,
    J.R.R. Tolkien  --  The Two Towers
  • her eye could not discern anything unusual
    Jane Austen  --  Northanger Abbey
  • Sophie began to discern a pattern in the deliveries:
    Jostein Gaarder  --  Sophie’s World
  • As nearly as could be discerned, the second traveller was about fifty years old, apparently in the same rank of life as Goodman Brown, and bearing a considerable resemblance to him, though perhaps more in expression than features.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  Young Goodman Brown
  • But the scanty wisdom of man, on entering into an affair which looks well at first, cannot discern the poison that is hidden in it,
    Nicolo Machiavelli  --  The Prince
  • The first thing Rainsford’s eyes discerned was the largest man Rainsford had ever seen — a gigantic creature, solidly made and black-bearded to the waist.
    Richard Connell  --  The Most Dangerous Game
  • There was, discernible in the letter, a slight anti-foreign bias
    Agatha Christie  --  The ABC Murders
  • ...it seemed to me that I discerned something affirmative,
    William Faulkner  --  The Sound and the Fury
  • The castle ghosts were there too, barely visible in the bright sunlight, discernible only when they moved, shimmering insubstantially in the gleaming air.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
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Associated words [difficulty]:   discern [1] , discerning [4]
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Most commonly used in these subjects:   Fine Arts & Music, Logic & Reasoning, Religion - Christianity
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