Definition of discovery in US English:



  • 1The action or process of discovering or being discovered.

    ‘the discovery of the body’
    ‘he made some startling discoveries’
    • ‘That process began in the sixteenth century with the voyages of discovery and has gone on accelerating ever since.’
    • ‘Eating always filled us with a sense of adventure and discovery.’
    • ‘But the human passion for knowledge and discovery, as I've said, always has a downside.’
    • ‘I think the whole process of acting is a kind of discovery that you go through.’
    • ‘I've wanted to go down to the Antarctic ever since I was a child and became fascinated by exploration and discovery.’
    • ‘In this system the process of discovery is channeled from one direct link to the next.’
    • ‘Stagecoach workers made the startling discovery after checking inside the box for security reasons.’
    • ‘The discovery of potential terrorists is proof that the process has begun.’
    • ‘It was a little scary, too, because I knew that it would be an entirely new process of discovery.’
    • ‘This discovery must be one of excitement and pleasure, so the journey of discovery itself is rewarding.’
    • ‘Part of the wonder of this lace construction for us is the process of discovery involved in locating each figure.’
    • ‘I've just been through one of those random processions of discovery and loose understanding.’
    • ‘But after staying there for a month, she found it was a voyage full of hardship and discovery.’
    • ‘After the startling discovery the woman took the ring back to the police station so the original owner could be found.’
    • ‘Police officers visited the flat and made the gruesome discovery.’
    • ‘A tip from a relative led to discovery of the runaway teen, who was living with a drug dealer.’
    • ‘The grim discovery of the body was made by a farmer yesterday morning.’
    • ‘He believes it happened through a gradual process of scientific discovery.’
    • ‘Climbers at the bottom of a glacier made another stunning discovery near the crash site.’
    • ‘As a parent you are in the best position to help them in the process of discovery.’
    finding, locating, location, uncovering, unearthing
    finding out, learning, realization, recognition, detection, determination
    invention, origination, devising
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A person or thing discovered.
      ‘the drug is not a new discovery’
      • ‘In the past many discoveries have been made in the area, including one of the two Iron Age bronze shields held in the British Museum.’
      • ‘Pupils have had the chance to travel back in time more than half a century, thanks to an exciting discovery at their school.’
      • ‘New discoveries offering new hope for the thousands of children with the condition.’
      • ‘This is a remarkable discovery, assuming it's not a hoax and it really doesn't look so.’
      • ‘On the day he met Watson he had not even earned a PhD, let alone made a discovery or a reputation.’
      • ‘For a reviewer for whom he is a recent discovery, that is excellent news.’
      • ‘I don't want to feel completely uninformed of all the scientific discoveries.’
      • ‘The point is that the amount of new discoveries has fallen dramatically.’
      • ‘The Norse discoveries were couched in oral sagas and were dismissed as folklore by those in other cultures.’
      • ‘For an oil major such as BP, a discovery of that size would have been significant.’
      • ‘So they patent their products, which have to be novel and cannot be simply a discovery - that is, simply a bit of nature.’
      • ‘The Museum is holding its annual finds day on Sunday to help people searching for an explanation of their discoveries.’
      • ‘People are advised to keep any such discoveries in a secure place out of the reach of children and pets and to contact the police immediately.’
      • ‘I don't know if this is a new discovery, but I've never seen it elsewhere.’
      • ‘I countered this superstition with a serendipitous discovery from my own research.’
      • ‘Newton and all such thinkers asked questions and came out with path-breaking discoveries.’
      • ‘You always think of science as being a man in a lab making a discovery, but it's not, it's teamwork.’
      • ‘Whoever comes out with a new discovery first and obtains the patent becomes the sole winner.’
      • ‘Here is a discovery that has to be made known to the ophthalmic community in India.’
      • ‘Such a discovery would have fascinating consequences for the debate on the origins of life on Earth.’
      find, finding
      View synonyms
  • 2Law
    The compulsory disclosure, by a party to an action, of relevant documents referred to by the other party.

    • ‘The documents relating to this shipment were disclosed on discovery.’
    • ‘The respondents draw attention to a series of documents produced in late discovery.’
    • ‘Over the past year or so the parties have been engaged in extensive examinations for discovery.’
    • ‘Once an action has commenced, discovery from the other parties is possible under the rules of court.’
    • ‘A party has inherent right to be present at the examination for discovery of the opposite party.’


Mid 16th century: from discover, on the pattern of the pair recover, recovery.