tr.v. dis·cov·ered, dis·cov·er·ing, dis·cov·ers
1. To notice or learn, especially by making an effort: got home and discovered that the furnace wasn't working.
a. To be the first, or the first of one's group or kind, to find, learn of, or observe.
b. To learn about for the first time in one's experience: discovered a new restaurant on the west side.
3. To learn something about: discovered him to be an impostor; discovered the brake to be defective.
4. To identify (a person) as a potentially prominent performer: a movie star who was discovered in a drugstore by a producer.
5. Archaic To reveal or expose.
[Middle English discoveren, to reveal, from Old French descovrir, from Late Latin discooperīre : Latin dis-, dis- + Latin cooperīre, to cover; see COVER.]
Synonyms: discover, ascertain, determine, learn
These verbs mean to gain knowledge or awareness of something not known before: discovered a star in a distant galaxy; ascertaining the facts; tried to determine the origins of the problem; learned the sad news from the radio.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.