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
  1. verb
    catch sight of
    synonyms: espy, spot, spy
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    type of:
    sight, spy
    catch sight of; to perceive with the eyes
Word Family