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

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


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