9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[dih-sur-nuh-buh l, -zur-] /dɪˈsɜr nə bəl, -ˈzɜr-/
capable of being discerned; distinguishable.
Also, discernable.
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 discernible
  • People who resort to this tactic will generally be discernible as cranks.
  • It has almost no discernible fragrance.
  • The recorder got dropped, smacked, and tossed without any discernible loss in performance.
  • She found no discernible improvement in the dogs' breath, however.
  • Their long term goals are not known or discernible.
  • The jacket image of an enormous sunflower wearing a subtly discernible smile is particularly cheery.
  • The underlying causes of this situation are complicated but discernible.
  • Raising quotas may thus have no discernible effect on production.
  • That produced a discernible impact, and when you put it in context it was almost certainly due to climate change.
  • Economic growth in the euro area as a whole is barely discernible.
British Dictionary definitions for discernible


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 discernible

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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