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From Old French descrier (to proclaim, announce, cry).



descry (third-person singular simple present descries, present participle descrying, simple past and past participle descried)

  1. (transitive) To see.
  2. (transitive) To discover (a distant or obscure object) by the eye; to espy; to discern or detect.
    • Shakespeare
      Edmund, I think, is gone [] to descry / The strength o' the enemy.
    • Milton
      And now their way to earth they had descried.
    • 1719 Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
      When I had passed the vale where my bower stood [] I came within view of the sea [] and it being a very clear day, I fairly descried land—whether an island or a continent I could not tell; but it lay very high, extending [] at a very great distance []
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 4, in The Celebrity:
      Judge Short had gone to town, and Farrar was off for a three days' cruise up the lake. I was bitterly regretting I had not gone with him when the distant notes of a coach horn reached my ear, and I descried a four-in-hand winding its way up the inn road from the direction of Mohair.
  3. To discover; to disclose; to reveal.
    • Milton
      His purple robe he had thrown aside, lest it should descry him.


Further reading[edit]