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c.1300, "divulge, reveal, disclose," from Old French descovrir "uncover, unroof, unveil, reveal, betray," from Late Latin discooperire, from Latin dis- "opposite of" (see dis-) + cooperire "to cover up" (see cover). At first with a sense of betrayal or malicious exposure (discoverer originally meant "informant"); the meaning "to obtain knowledge or sight of what was not known" is from 1550s. Related: Discovered; discovering.