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discerning

adjective

Definition: 1. possessing good judgment; 2. distinguishing in subtlety and good taste

Synonyms: discriminating, perceptive, judicious, sensitive, shrewd, astute

Antonyms: undiscerning, obtuse

Tips: Discerning is related to the word discern, which means "to detect, recognize, judge, or discriminate between." Someone who has a discerning taste is choosy and can discern the difference between the good and the bad. People may be characterized as discerning to denote their sophistication and good taste. The related word discernible means recognizable, detectible, and capable of being recognized by the senses. Discerning, discern, and discernible are all derived from a Latin word that means to sift, separate, and distinguish between. Think, being able to sift (discern) through items and distinguish (discern) the good from the bad and separate them accordingly; that would be discerning. Discerning is synonymous with judicious and sagacious. See additional analysis at judicious.

Usage Examples:

The restaurant reviewer was famous for his discerning taste and fair depictions of local haunts. (sensitive, discriminating)

The teacher surveyed her students' work with a discerning eye, distinguishing between that which was done well and that which needed improvement. (perceptive, astute)

Successful venture capitalist have the ability to discern between good and bad investments. (distinguish) verb

The wine aficionado had a discerning taste for red wine and could immediately tell you the type of wine and year it was produced. (sensitive, shrewd)


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