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discerning
used in The Scarlet Letter

4 uses
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Definition
showing good judgment or good taste and/or the perception of things not easily perceived by most people
  • From this intense consciousness of being the object of severe and universal observation, the wearer of the scarlet letter was at length relieved, by discerning, on the outskirts of the crowd, a figure which irresistibly took possession of her thoughts.
    Chapter 3 -- The Recognition (1% in)
  • Discerning the impracticable state of the poor culprit's mind, the elder clergyman, who had carefully prepared himself for the occasion, addressed to the multitude a discourse on sin, in all its branches, but with continual reference to the ignominious letter.
    Chapter 3 -- The Recognition (92% in)
  • Children, too young to comprehend wherefore this woman should be shut out from the sphere of human charities, would creep nigh enough to behold her plying her needle at the cottage-window, or standing in the doorway, or labouring in her little garden, or coming forth along the pathway that led townward, and, discerning the scarlet letter on her breast, would scamper off with a strange contagious fear.
    Chapter 5 -- Hester at her Needle (34% in)
  • And the Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale's best discerning friends, as we have intimated, very reasonably imagined that the hand of Providence had done all this for the purpose—besought in so many public and domestic and secret prayers—of restoring the young minister to health.
    Chapter 9 -- The Leech (84% in)

There are no more uses of "discerning" in The Scarlet Letter.

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