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From Middle French discernable; spelling changed from -a- to -i- in the 17th century to conform to Latin discernibilis. Synchronically analyzable as discern +‎ -ible.



discernible (comparative more discernible, superlative most discernible)

  1. Possible to discern; detectable or derivable by use of the senses or the intellect.
    There is a discernible performance difference between a Porsche and a Civic.
    • 1821, John Duncan, Duncan's Travels:
      To have demolished and rebuilt the walls, would have been a very costly expedient, and as the least of two evils, the painter's brush was resorted to; here and there however, above some of the windows, the black wreathings of the smoke are still discernible through the white covering.
    • 1908, W[illiam] B[lair] M[orton] Ferguson, chapter IV, in Zollenstein, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 731476803:
      So this was my future home, I thought! [] Backed by towering hills, the but faintly discernible purple line of the French boundary off to the southwest, a sky of palest Gobelin flecked with fat, fleecy little clouds, it in truth looked a dear little city; the city of one's dreams.


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discernible (plural discernibles)

  1. discernible