dis·​cern·​ing | \ di-ˈsər-niŋ How to pronounce discerning (audio) \

Definition of discerning

: showing insight and understanding : discriminating a discerning critic

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Other Words from discerning

discerningly \ di-​ˈsər-​niŋ-​lē How to pronounce discerning (audio) , -​ˈzər-​ \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for discerning



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Examples of discerning in a Sentence

Why should a discerning writer concern himself with such movies as Troy, Alexander, or 300? The answer is that he is uniquely qualified to transmute such trash into illuminating visions of the culturally confused age in which we live. — G. W. Bowersock, New York Review of Books, 6 Nov. 2008 Many of FreshDirect's customers say they are using the service because food shopping in Manhattan can be agonizing. But the question is whether discerning food shoppers will trust it. — Florence Fabricant, New York Times, 6 Nov. 2002 Who reads short stories? one is asked, and I like to think that they are read by men and women in the dentist's office, waiting to be called to the chair; they are read on transcontinental plane trips … they are read by discerning and well-informed men and women who seem to feel that narrative fiction can contribute to our understanding of one another and the sometimes bewildering world around us. — John Cheever, The Story and Its Writer, 1987 She has a discerning eye for good art. a discerning critic of modern art
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Recent Examples on the Web Lastly, the new SoftGlow Highlighter will satisfy even the most discerning highlighter obsessives, with a texture that's like the perfect combination between a cream and a powder for the most realistic-looking sheen. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, 2 June 2021 Barron interviews job prospects with a discerning eye. Los Angeles Times, 22 May 2021 Meet the Scalp Care Revitalizing Treatment, a revitalizing potion that the internet's most discerning beauty lovers can't get enough of right now. Karina Hoshikawa, refinery29.com, 18 May 2021 Beer connoisseurs are living it up again in China—and getting more discerning about their ale. Jacky Wong, WSJ, 6 May 2021 The 151-footer, which was commissioned by a client the Milanese firm ranks among its most discerning, is currently under construction at Royal Huisman. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 31 Mar. 2021 After all, these folks are a discerning lot who would generally eschew the idea of working for a bank. Mindy Diamond, Forbes, 19 Mar. 2021 The staying power of Colleen's paved the way for other businesses to take root across the street, including sushi spot Nuka and Toohey's Butchery & Bistro, a discerning eatery that hosts live music on its patio. Jen Murphy, Travel + Leisure, 27 Feb. 2021 Recognition is more discerning than a bonus program based solely on bottom-line results. Eric Mosley, Forbes, 11 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'discerning.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of discerning

1589, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for discerning

from present participle of discern

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Time Traveler for discerning

Time Traveler

The first known use of discerning was in 1589

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Statistics for discerning

Last Updated

16 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Discerning.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discerning. Accessed 22 Jun. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of discerning

: able to see and understand people, things, or situations clearly and intelligently


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