discerning

Discerning people pick up on subtle traits and are good judges of quality — they're the ones who can tell if your cupcakes are homemade from the finest ingredients or totally from a box mix.

Discerning is an adjective that comes from the Old French discerner, meaning to “distinguish (between), separate (by sifting)” — which makes sense, because someone with discerning tastes or a discerning eye is good at distinguishing the good from the bad and sifting out the gems from the junk. If you're an ace at picking out fabulous fabrics, accessories, and shoes when you get dressed each morning, you probably have discerning fashion sense.

Definitions of discerning
  1. adjective
    having or revealing keen insight and good judgment
    “a discerning critic”
    “a discerning reader”
    Synonyms:
    critical
    characterized by careful evaluation and judgment
    clear, percipient
    characterized by ease and quickness in perceiving
    clear-eyed, clear-sighted, perspicacious
    mentally acute or penetratingly discerning
    prescient
    perceiving the significance of events before they occur
    discriminating
    showing or indicating careful judgment and discernment especially in matters of taste
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    Antonyms:
    undiscerning
    lacking discernment
    obtuse, purblind
    lacking in insight or discernment
    uncomprehending
    lacking understanding
    indiscriminate
    not marked by fine distinctions
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  2. adjective
    quick to understand
    synonyms: apprehensive
    perceptive
    having the ability to perceive or understand; keen in discernment
  3. adjective
    unobtrusively perceptive and sympathetic
    “a discerning editor”
    synonyms: discreet
    tactful
    having or showing a sense of what is fitting and considerate in dealing with others
  4. adjective
    able to make or detect effects of great subtlety; sensitive
    discerning taste”
    “a discerning eye for color”
    Synonyms:
    discriminating
    showing or indicating careful judgment and discernment especially in matters of taste
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