One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1The action of pulling something apart.
- ‘He suffered the grievous punishment of discerption as to the entire head.’
- ‘For the fables that are storied and related about the discerption of Bacchus, and the attempts of the Titans upon him, and of their tasting of his slain body, and of their several punishments and fulminations afterwards, are but a representation of the regeneration.’
- ‘The story of the discerption of his body explained the circumstance that the honor of his interment was claimed by so many different places in Egypt.’
- ‘Such punishments of discerption take place with great variety, and at intervals are repeated again and again, until the sufferers are penetrated with fear and horror at false statements made with an intention to deceive.’
- 1.1 A piece severed from something.
- ‘Not only is so simple an event rare to the point of non-existence; the description of it is a discerption.’
- ‘Camden and other learned writers relate how our discerptions and mutinies have been the scaling ladder by which the Romans and the Normans have formerly gotten into the nation.’
Mid 17th century: from late Latin discerptio(n-), from Latin discerpere ‘pluck to pieces’.
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