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From Middle French and Anglo-Norman discusser (French: discuter), from Latin discussus, past participle of discutere (to strike or shake apart, break up, scatter, also, in derivatives and in Medieval Latin, examine, discuss), from dis- (apart) + quatere (to shake).



discuss (third-person singular simple present discusses, present participle discussing, simple past and past participle discussed)

  1. (obsolete, transitive) To drive away, disperse, shake off; said especially of tumors.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, III.i:
      For she was giuen all to fleshly lust, / And poured forth in sensuall delight, / That all regard of shame she had discust, / And meet respect of honour put to flight []
    • The Rambler: A Periodical Paper:
      The softness of my hands was secured by medicated gloves, and my bosom rubbed with a pomade prepared by my mother, of virtue to discuss pimples, and clear discolourations.
    • Henry Wotton:
      Many arts were used to discuss the beginnings of new affection.
  2. (transitive) To converse or debate concerning a particular topic.
    Let's sit down and discuss this rationally.
    I don't wish to discuss this further. Let's talk about something else.
  3. (transitive, obsolete) To communicate, tell, or disclose (information, a message, etc.).
    • c. 1597, William Shakespeare, Merry Wives of Windsor, act 1, scene 3:
      Nym: I will discuss the humour of this love to Page.
    • c. 1599, William Shakespeare, Henry V, act 4, scene 1:
      Pistol: Discuss unto me; art thou officer? Or art thou base, common and popular?
  4. (obsolete, transitive) To break to pieces; to shatter.
  5. (obsolete, transitive) To deal with, in eating or drinking.
    • Samuel White Baker, The Rifle and the Hound in Ceylon:
      We sat quietly down and discussed a cold fowl that we had brought with us.
  6. (transitive, law) To examine or search thoroughly; to exhaust a remedy against, as against a principal debtor before proceeding against the surety.


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