discovery

noun

dis·​cov·​ery di-ˈskə-v(ə-)rē How to pronounce discovery (audio)
plural discoveries
1
a
: the act or process of discovering
the discovery of a lost city
b(1)
archaic : disclosure
(2)
obsolete : display
c
obsolete : exploration
2
: something discovered
3
: the usually pretrial disclosure of pertinent facts or documents by one or both parties to a legal action or proceeding

Examples of discovery in a Sentence

Scientists announced the discovery of a new species of plant. Her research led to a number of important discoveries about the disease. Reporters made the shocking discovery that the governor had been unfaithful to his wife. the discovery of pollution in the river the discovery of a talented musician sailors during the age of discovery It was one of the most important discoveries in the history of medicine. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Picerno went on to say that Willis did not notice the men dead in his backyard or their cars still in the neighborhood in the days between the football game and the discovery. Brian Brant, Peoplemag, 10 Feb. 2024 Bonds and Jones have denied using PEDs from BALCO, but the discovery and resulting scandal awakened many to a sports world in which athletes had graduated from the clunky steroids of the 1980s to more sophisticated drugs that were harder to detect yet just as dangerous to their health. Les Carpenter, Washington Post, 10 Feb. 2024 The discovery of the postings added to a long list of racist messaging scandals to hit the Bay Area in recent years, including within the Oakland Police Department’s own ranks. Jakob Rodgers, The Mercury News, 9 Feb. 2024 Related article Astronomers make unprecedented discovery in search for water in space Telescopes can pick up on dips in starlight that indicate the planet is passing in front of its star, and those dips in starlight are called transits. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 8 Feb. 2024 Hur, a former U.S. Attorney in the Trump administration, was appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland as special counsel in January 2023 following an initial discovery by Biden staff of classified records in Washington office space. TIME, 8 Feb. 2024 The discovery of a skeleton in Pottstown, Pa., opens out to a story of integration and community. The California Independent Booksellers Alliance, Los Angeles Times, 7 Feb. 2024 One of the other discoveries of this film through our amazing archival producers was the David Breskin tapes. Lily Moayeri, SPIN, 29 Jan. 2024 But now, a new discovery may provide some insight into these questions. Will Sullivan, Smithsonian Magazine, 29 Jan. 2024 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1529, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of discovery was in 1529

Dictionary Entries Near discovery

Cite this Entry

“Discovery.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discovery. Accessed 20 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

discovery

noun
dis·​cov·​ery dis-ˈkəv-(ə-)rē How to pronounce discovery (audio)
plural discoveries
1
: the act or process of discovering
2
: something discovered

Legal Definition

discovery

noun
dis·​cov·​ery
plural discoveries
1
: the act or process of discovering
2
: something discovered
applied for a patent for the discovery
3
a
: the methods used by parties to a civil or criminal action to obtain information held by the other party that is relevant to the action see also deposition, interrogatory, request for production
b
: the disclosure of information held by the opposing party in an action
a party need not provide discovery of electronically stored information…not reasonably accessibleFederal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 26(b)(2)(B)
see also privilege, work product doctrine

Note: Discovery allowed under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26 is far-reaching. With some exceptions, a party may obtain discovery of any relevant information as long as it is not privileged, including information that itself would not be admissible at trial but that is likely to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. Criminal discovery, however, has been more controversial. Under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 16, a defendant may obtain discovery of his or her own written or recorded statements or confessions, results of examinations and tests, his or her recorded testimony before a grand jury, and testimony to be given by the prosecution's expert witnesses. A defendant may also inspect the prosecution's books, documents, photographs, objects, and other items of evidence. Under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 12.1, the prosecution must also disclose the names of witnesses that will be called to rebut the defendant's alibi defense. The defendant must also permit the prosecution to inspect books, documents, photographs, and objects and must disclose reports of examinations or tests and testimony of expert witnesses.

More from Merriam-Webster on discovery

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