If you spot something, you descry it. When you spy it, you descry it. It's a good verb to use when you catch a glimpse of a rare bird in the trees. Or when you finally spot Waldo in a "Where's Waldo?" book.

Descry is very similar to "see" or "discern," but involves more than just keeping your eyes open. Usually you descry something after observing carefully for a while. Wrote Ovid, the Ancient Roman poet and author: “Time on time revolving we descry, so moments flit, so moments fly.” Apparently, even in antiquity people complained about seeing the time go by too quickly.

Definitions of descry

v catch sight of

espy, spot, spy
Type of:
sight, spy
catch sight of; to perceive with the eyes

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