[dih-surn, -zurn]
verb (used with object)
to perceive by the sight or some other sense or by the intellect; see, recognize, or apprehend: They discerned a sail on the horizon.
to distinguish mentally; recognize as distinct or different; discriminate: He is incapable of discerning right from wrong.
verb (used without object)
to distinguish or discriminate.

1300–50; Middle English (< Old French) < Latin discernere to separate, equivalent to dis- dis-1 + cernere to separate

discerner, noun
prediscern, verb (used with object)
undiscerned, adjective

1. discover, descry, espy. See notice. 2, 3. differentiate, judge.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
discern (dɪˈsɜːn)
1.  (tr) to recognize or perceive clearly
2.  to recognize or perceive (differences)
[C14: from Old French discerner, from Latin discernere to divide, from dis-1 (apart) + cernere to separate]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., from O.Fr. discerner "distinguish, separate" (by sifting), from L. discernere, from dis- "off, away" + cernere "distinguish, separate, sift" (see crisis). Related: Discerned.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
And a longing for both personal and social salvation can be discerned in the
Several technical challenges must be overcome before individual bases can be
  discerned this way.
Had he seen the whole picture, each story nicely placed back to back, he may
  have discerned a common problem.
Individual point sources for the dust can be discerned.
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