Try Our Apps


Pore Over vs. Pour Over


[dih-skrahy] /dɪˈskraɪ/
verb (used with object), descried, descrying.
to see (something unclear or distant) by looking carefully; discern; espy:
The lookout descried land.
to discover; perceive; detect.
Origin of descry
1250-1300; Middle English descrien < Old French de(s)crïer to proclaim, decry. See dis-1, cry
Related forms
descrier, noun
undescried, adjective
undescrying, adjective
Can be confused
decry, descry (see synonym study at decry)
1. notice. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for descry
Historical Examples
  • The girl even thought to descry in it her own name, and to both it came as a very voice from Heaven.

    A Secret of the Lebombo Bertram Mitford
  • If only she could descry something plain to tell her husband!

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • Tristram thought this odd, for it was impossible at that distance to descry the features of the riders.

    The Blue Pavilions Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
  • And can you descry no difference between his letters and those addressed to other people?'

    Barnaby Rudge Charles Dickens
  • Moreover, he was not so unreasonable as to descry insupportable hardships in this parting.

    At Last Marion Harland
  • Bolko could descry the figure of Auriola at the margin of the spring.

  • Far to the north he could descry Spurling, plodding desperately on across the thawing ice.

    Murder Point Coningsby Dawson
  • There was hardly a spot of him where you could not descry some sign of a bone underneath.

  • And Forbes could descry the muffled outlines of fingers clutching the heavy fabric.

    What Will People Say? Rupert Hughes
  • With the aid of these lights we may descry some general features of the Romantic Bohemian.

    Vie de Bohme Orlo Williams
British Dictionary definitions for descry


verb (transitive) -scries, -scrying, -scried
to discern or make out; catch sight of
to discover by looking carefully; detect
Derived Forms
descrier, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French descrier to proclaim, decry
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for descry

"to see, discern," c.1300, probably from Old French descrier "publish" (Modern French décrier), from Latin describere (see describe).

"to proclaim," mid-14c., from Old French descrier, from des- (see dis-) + crier, from Latin quiritare (see cry (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for descry

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for descry

Scrabble Words With Friends