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[dih-surn-muh nt, -zurn-] /dɪˈsɜrn mənt, -ˈzɜrn-/
the faculty of discerning; discrimination; acuteness of judgment and understanding.
the act or an instance of discerning.
Origin of discernment
1580-90; < Middle French discernement, equivalent to discern(er) to discern + -ment -ment
Related forms
nondiscernment, noun
prediscernment, noun
self-discernment, noun
1. judgment, perspicacity, penetration, insight. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for discernment
  • The difficulty with color perception usually involves the discernment of red and green or those colors with red and green in them.
  • Wisdom and discernment are everywhere.
  • Abiding truth is to be experienced through self discernment and cannot be dished out like a serving of pizza.
  • The former tends to perpetuate a surface belief while the latter tends toward conscious discernment.
  • On the other hand, the internet forces people to use discernment as they receive information.
  • It's not putting a falsely modest skin over a soul of discernment.
  • They continue to see her caution as wisdom, her penchant for splitting the difference as discernment.
  • Also, rigid prerequisite rules need to be considered with discernment, too.
  • Historically discernment has been the domain of the few and that remains true today.
  • And the discernment of the discerning will I bring to naught.
British Dictionary definitions for discernment


keen perception or judgment
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for discernment

1580s; see discern + -ment.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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