dis·​cern·​ible di-ˈsər-nə-bəl How to pronounce discernible (audio)
variants or less commonly discernable
: able to be perceived by a sense (such as sight or smell) or by the mind : capable of being discerned
a discernible difference
It is thought that the genes that normally produce a white underbelly in the gray squirrel are active in a wider area of their bodies, often leaving discernible gray patches on the spine and head.C. Claiborne Ray
Downpours are a near-daily occurrence throughout the year, and there are few discernible changes of season. Sunlight, warmth, and moisture are constants.Scott Wallace
Judging by the food one samples around the U.S., there is little difference in the performance of male and female chefs discernable to the eye or palate.Mimi Sheraton
discernibly adverb
or less commonly discernably
a discernibly better product
two materials that are not discernibly different
When a recipe says to brown the meat, it is calling for a deep brown sear and a discernibly thick crust on all sides … Cook's Illustrated

Examples of discernible in a Sentence

discernible differences in the two authors' writing styles
Recent Examples on the Web The man developed conjunctivitis, the only discernible sign that he had been infected. Helen Branswell, STAT, 21 May 2024 The blur falls shy of being buttery smooth, however, as some objects in the background remain discernible. PCMAG, 20 May 2024 In places, house numbers run into the tens of thousands and follow no readily discernible pattern. Tommy Trenchard, NPR, 19 May 2024 In response, Orano points to independent monitoring by Mongolia’s Academy of Sciences that found no discernible impact to local water, soil, air, or vegetation. TIME, 14 May 2024 The Bee’s investigation revealed prosecutorial missteps by the Calaveras County District Attorney’s Office, including losing grand jury testimony and taking no discernible steps to extradite Kelly. Joe Rubin, Sacramento Bee, 2 May 2024 Advertisement There are dark stains permeating the carpets, missing ceiling tiles, an enormous window above the toilet that opens to the hallway for no discernible reason. Amy Kaufman, Los Angeles Times, 2 May 2024 When the Anthropocene Working Group was formed, in 2009, its first task was to decide whether human impacts on the planet would still be discernible millions of years from now. Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker, 20 Apr. 2024 Those effects weren’t easily discernible on Koningsdam, though, which was about 150 miles from shore. Nathan Diller, USA TODAY, 8 Apr. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'discernible.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


discernible borrowed from Late Latin discernibilis, from Latin discernere "to separate, divide off, distinguish, discern" + -ibilis -ible; discernable from discern + -able, after Late Latin discernibilis

First Known Use

1561, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of discernible was in 1561

Dictionary Entries Near discernible

Cite this Entry

“Discernible.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discernible. Accessed 13 Jun. 2024.

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