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discern
used in Middlemarch

18 uses
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Definition
to notice or understand something — often something that is not obvious
  • She had that rare sense which discerns what is unalterable, and submits to it without murmuring.
    Book 3 — Waiting for Death (16% in)
  • ...to do with it: the Brooke connections, though not exactly aristocratic, were unquestionably "good:" if you inquired backward for a generation or two, you would not find any yard-measuring or parcel-tying forefathers—anything lower than an admiral or a clergyman; and there was even an ancestor discernible as a Puritan gentleman who served under Cromwell, but afterwards conformed, and managed to come out of all political troubles as the proprietor of a respectable family estate.
    Book 1 — Miss Brooke (1% in)
  • He discerned Dorothea, jumped off his horse at once, and, having delivered it to his groom, advanced towards her with something white on his arm, at which the two setters were barking in an excited manner.
    Book 1 — Miss Brooke (20% in)
  • But I have discerned in you an elevation of thought and a capability of devotedness, which I had hitherto not conceived to be compatible either with the early bloom of youth or with those graces of sex that may be said at once to win and to confer distinction when combined, as they notably are in you, with the mental qualities above indicated.
    Book 1 — Miss Brooke (32% in)
  • It had once or twice crossed his mind that possibly there was some deficiency in Dorothea to account for the moderation of his abandonment; but he was unable to discern the deficiency, or to figure to himself a woman who would have pleased him better; so that there was clearly no reason to fall back upon but the exaggerations of human tradition.
    Book 1 — Miss Brooke (49% in)
  • Presently it was possible to discern something that might be a gig on the circular drive before the front door.
    Book 1 — Miss Brooke (86% in)
  • It was part of Rosamond's cleverness to discern very subtly the faintest aroma of rank, and once when she had seen the Miss Brookes accompanying their uncle at the county assizes, and seated among the aristocracy, she had envied them, notwithstanding their plain dress.
    Book 2 — Old and Young (43% in)
  • To be a poet is to have a soul so quick to discern that no shade of quality escapes it, and so quick to feel, that discernment is but a hand playing with finely ordered variety on the chords of emotion—a soul in which knowledge passes instantaneously into feeling, and feeling flashes back as a new organ of knowledge.
    Book 2 — Old and Young (98% in)
  • "I must give you the ninety-two pounds that I have put by for Alfred's premium," said Mrs. Garth, gravely and decisively, though a nice ear might have discerned a slight tremor in some of the words.
    Book 3 — Waiting for Death (23% in)
  • Do you imagine that her rapid forecast and rumination concerning house-furniture and society were ever discernible in her conversation, even with her mamma?
    Book 3 — Waiting for Death (44% in)
  • But he wished to repress outward signs, and only Dorothea could discern the changes in her husband's face before he observed with more of dignified bending and sing-song than usual— "You are exceedingly hospitable, my dear sir; and I owe you acknowledgments for exercising your hospitality towards a relative of mine."
    Book 4 — Three Love Problems (7% in)
  • Casaubon hated him—he knew that very well; on his first entrance he could discern a bitterness in the mouth and a venom in the glance which would almost justify declaring war in spite of past benefits.
    Book 4 — Three Love Problems (36% in)
  • It may be imagined that Mr. Trumbull rose from his couch with a disposition to speak of an illness in which he had manifested the strength of his mind as well as constitution; and he was not backward in awarding credit to the medical man who had discerned the quality of patient he had to deal with.
    Book 5 — The Dead Hand (21% in)
  • Her face being, from her entrance, towards the chancel, even her shortsighted eyes soon discerned Will, but there was no outward show of her feeling except a slight paleness and a grave bow as she passed him.
    Book 5 — The Dead Hand (41% in)
  • Mr. Brooke himself was not in a position to be quickly conscious of anything except a general slipping away of ideas within himself: he had even a little singing in the ears, and he was the only person who had not yet taken distinct account of the echo or discerned the image of himself.
    Book 5 — The Dead Hand (74% in)
  • Having been roused to discern consequences which he had never been in the habit of tracing, he was preparing to act on this discernment with some of the rigor (by no means all) that he would have applied in pursuing experiment.
    Book 6 — The Widow and Wife (54% in)
  • So strangely determined are we mortals, that, after having been long gratified with the sense that he had privately done the Vicar a service, the suggestion that the Vicar discerned his need of a service in return made him shrink into unconquerable reticence.
    Book 7 — Two Temptations (8% in)
  • Dorothea waited a little; she had discerned a faint pleasure stealing over Rosamond's face.
    Book 8 — Sunset and Sunrise (67% in)

There are no more uses of "discern" in Middlemarch.

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