KJV Dictionary Definition: discern


DISCERN, v.t. s as z. L., to separate or distinguish, Gr.

1. To separate by the eye, or by the understanding. Hence,

2. To distinguish; to see the difference between two or more things; to discriminate; as, to discern the blossom-buds from the leaf-buds of plants.

Discern thou what is thine--Genesis 31.

3. To make the difference.

For nothing else discerns the virtue or the vice.

4. To discover; to see; to distinguish by the eye.

I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding. Proverbs 7.

5. To discover by the intellect; to distinguish; hence, to have knowledge of; to judge.

So is my lord the king to discern good and bad. 2 Samuel 14.

A wise mans heart discerneth time and judgment. Ecclesiastes 8.


1. To see or understand the difference; to make distinction; as, to discern between good and evil, truth and falsehood.

2. To have judicial cognizance.


DISCERNED, pp. Distinguished; seen; discovered.



1. One who sees, discovers or distinguishes; an observer.

2. One who knows and judges; one who has the power of distinguishing.

He was a great observer and discerner of mens natures and humors.

3. That which distinguishes; or that which causes to understand.

The word of God is quick and powerful--a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4.


DISCERNIBLE, a. That may be seen distinctly; discoverable by the eye or the understanding; distinguishable. A star is discernible by the eye; the identity or difference of ideas is discernible by the understanding.


DISCERNIBLENESS, n. Visibleness.


DISCERNIBLY, adv. In a manner to be discerned, seen or discovered; visibly.



1. Distinguishing; seeing; discovering; knowing; judging.

2. a. Having power to discern; capable of seeing, discriminating, knowing and judging; sharp-sighted; penetrating; acute; as a discerning man or mind.

DISCERNING, n. The act of discerning; discernment.


DISCERNINGLY, adv. With discernment; acutely; with judgment; skillfully.


DISCERNMENT, n. The act of discerning; also, the power or faculty of the mind, by which it distinguishes one thing from another, as truth from falsehood, virtue from vice; acuteness of judgment; power of perceiving differences of things or ideas, and their relations and tendencies. The errors of youth often proceed from the want of discernment.