Definition of descry in US English:



[with object]literary
  • Catch sight of.

    ‘she descried two figures’
    • ‘While he clearly indicates productions he considers successful, I would be hard-pressed to descry a pattern among them.’
    • ‘Ostensibly sympathetic to those on the raft, the painting shows the survivors descrying a ship barely visible on the horizon.’
    • ‘Venturing further into the meadow, he descried four figures near the other side of the meadow.’
    • ‘Commissioned to dispel the clouds, the samurai ‘stared upward and descried a weird form in the clouds.’’
    • ‘How could she possibly descry the ship's position from a standpoint of utter blindness.’
    • ‘Below, the ground grew rougher; from time to time he descried blurred lines upon the earth - the overgrown walking-tracks of humans.’
    perceive, make out, pick out, detect, recognize, notice, observe, see, spot
    spot, notice, catch sight of, see, make out, glimpse, sight, discern, perceive, observe, detect, distinguish, pick out, spy out, recognize, identify, mark, remark
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Middle English: Old French descrier ‘publish, proclaim’, perhaps confused with obsolete descry ‘describe’.