discover

verb
dis·​cov·​er | \ di-ˈskə-vər How to pronounce discover (audio) \
discovered; discovering\ di-​ˈskə-​v(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce discovering (audio) \

Definition of discover

transitive verb

1a : to make known or visible : expose discovering himself … as her adoring and magnanimous lover— T. L. Peacock
b archaic : display
2a : to obtain sight or knowledge of for the first time : find discover the solution discovered a new Italian restaurant
b : find out discovered he was out of gas

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from discover

discoverable \ di-​ˈskə-​v(ə-​)rə-​bəl How to pronounce discoverable (audio) \ adjective
discoverer \ di-​ˈskə-​vər-​ər How to pronounce discoverer (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for discover

discover, ascertain, determine, unearth, learn mean to find out what one did not previously know. discover may apply to something requiring exploration or investigation or to a chance encounter. discovered the source of the river ascertain implies effort to find the facts or the truth proceeding from awareness of ignorance or uncertainty. attempts to ascertain the population of the region determine emphasizes the intent to establish the facts definitely or precisely. unable to determine the origin of the word unearth implies bringing to light something forgotten or hidden. unearth old records learn may imply acquiring knowledge with little effort or conscious intention (as by simply being told) or it may imply study and practice. I learned her name only today learning Greek

Examples of discover in a Sentence

Christopher Columbus discovered the New World in 1492. Several new species of plants have recently been discovered. It took her several weeks to discover the solution. The tests have discovered problems in the current design. She soon discovered what had been going on.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Researchers in a warming Arctic are discovering organisms, frozen and presumed dead for millennia, that can bear life anew. Daniel Ackerman, BostonGlobe.com, "Ancient life awakens amid thawing ice caps and permafrost," 7 July 2019 Young Charlie was laughed at while begging but also discovers very early his power to entertain, thus gaining mastery over the audience from street to screen. cleveland.com, "The arts help us honor the past and envision the future: Sun Messages," 6 July 2019 Officers and residents of Grand Cay discovered the aircraft, which had taken off at about 2 a.m. local time, overturned in 16 feet of water on Thursday afternoon, police said. NBC News, "Billionaire coal executive and philanthropist Chris Cline dies at 60," 5 July 2019 Nudism across the United States has seen an aging population as the millenial generation has not discovered the lifestyle and is often uncomfortable with nudity. Jeff Forward, Houston Chronicle, "Local nudist resort sees influx of new members, faces development challenges," 5 July 2019 After Thursday’s discovery, Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue team members searched the drainage Friday morning and discovered what are believed to be Tice’s remains, the release said. Kieran Nicholson, The Denver Post, "Remains, believed to be of Air Force Academy prep student, found in Rocky Mountain National Park," 5 July 2019 When their spouses discover the affair, these two lives that are already divided by politics, culture, class and marital commitments become infinitely more complicated. Sergio Carmona, sun-sentinel.com, "Film about affair between Israeli and Palestinian to open in South Florida," 3 July 2019 Similar speculations arose in 2015, when citizen scientists discovered a Kepler star with odd patterns and notified astronomer Tabetha Boyajian at Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge. Adam Mann, Scientific American, "Astronomers Don't Know What to Make of This Incredibly Bizarre Star," 3 July 2019 That's when a charge nurse discovered Schneider hadn’t received any antibiotics. Andrew Wolfson, The Courier-Journal, "The 'sad, scary case' of how a nursing home whistleblower exposed a fatal cover-up," 3 July 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of discover

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for discover

Middle English, from Anglo-French descoverir, descovrir, from Late Latin discooperire, from Latin dis- + cooperire to cover — more at cover

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about discover

Statistics for discover

Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for discover

The first known use of discover was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for discover

discover

verb

English Language Learners Definition of discover

: to see, find, or become aware of (something) for the first time
: to show the presence of (something hidden or difficult to see) : to make (something) known
: to learn or find out (something surprising or unexpected)

discover

verb
dis·​cov·​er | \ di-ˈskə-vər How to pronounce discover (audio) \
discovered; discovering

Kids Definition of discover

: to find out, see, or learn of especially for the first time : find Scientists have discovered a new species. She discovered a hole in her shirt.

Other Words from discover

discoverer noun

discover

transitive verb
dis·​cov·​er

Legal Definition of discover

1 : to find out about, recognize, or realize for the first time when the victim discovers the fraud — see also discovery rule
2a : to make the subject of discovery
b : to learn of or obtain (information) through discovery

Other Words from discover

discoverable adjective

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on discover

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with discover

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for discover

Spanish Central: Translation of discover

Nglish: Translation of discover for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of discover for Arabic Speakers

Comments on discover

What made you want to look up discover? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

characterized by aphorism

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!