discern (v.)

"perceive or recognize the difference or distinction between (two or more things);" also "distinguish (an object) with the eyes, see distinctly, behold;" also "perceive rationally, understand;" late 14c., from Old French discerner (13c.) "distinguish (between), separate" (by sifting), and directly from Latin discernere "to separate, set apart, divide, distribute; distinguish, perceive," from dis- "off, away" (see dis-) + cernere "distinguish, separate, sift" (from PIE root *krei- "to sieve," thus "discriminate, distinguish"). Related: Discerned; discerning.

Origin and meaning of discern

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