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Supposedly vs. Supposably


or discernable

[dih-sur-nuh-buh l, -zur-] /dɪˈsɜr nə bəl, -ˈzɜr-/
capable of being discerned; distinguishable.
Origin of discernible
1555-65; < Latin discernibilis (see discern, -ible); replacing earlier discernable < Middle French, equivalent to discern(er) to discern + -able -able
Related forms
discernibleness, discernableness, noun
discernibly, discernably, adverb
undiscernable, adjective
undiscernably, adverb
undiscernible, adjective
undiscernibly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for discernable
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The room is so dark, that for a minute or two nothing is discernable.

    Zoe; Or, Some Day May Leonard
  • This condition is not marked and may best be described as a discernable tendency.

  • He had an enormous bundle of them, papers of every date and every title, piled up in no discernable order.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • From the signal tower bright lights were discernable at Richmond.

    The Black Phalanx Joseph T. Wilson
  • Having no guide, I could learn nothing save what was then discernable—such as the respective lines of battle of the two armies.

British Dictionary definitions for discernable


able to be discerned; perceptible
Derived Forms
discernibly, (rarely) discernably, adverb
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 discernable



also discernable, 1560s, from French discernable, from discerner (see discern). Form with -a- was more common at first; spelling changed to -i- 17c. to conform to Latin discernibilis.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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