2

There doesn't seem to be an English word describing the ability to tell truth from a lie. I've Googled, and posted on my FB account, but can't seem to find a word that precisely describes this ability.

  • Discernment. M-W defines this as "able to see and understand people things, or situations clearly and intelligently." Best so far, but a bit off the mark. It does not precisely identify the ability to perceive and separate truth from falsehoods.
  • The antonym of gullible
  • A discerning ear
  • (Slang) anti-bs meter; able to discern bullsh!t.

Others have suggested guarded, prudent, realistic, astute, and perceptive... but none of these precisely describe the quality that I've described.

I don't think that English has a word to describe this! Perhaps something from Latin, Hebrew, or another language?

Tyvm Keith :^)

EDIT per Tonepoet's comment below:

This question is a single-word-request and as such needs to be edited to include a requisite contextual sentence to help us understand what the best word is to meet your needs.

John is so gullible; he'll believe anything. Not so Jane, she is XXXXXXX. She has quite the discerning ear; you'll never be able to deceive her with a lie.

Since you have proposed a synonym/antonym, you should also show us that you have consulted a thesaurus and tell us why you have dismissed at least the very best examples as meeting your needs. The question may end up closed otherwise.

Consulted thesaurus.com. Listed antonyms for gullible; definitions from Google.

  • discerning. Having or showing good judgment. Discussed above; best so far, but a bit off the mark.
  • astute. Having or showing an ability to accurately assess situations or people and turn this to one's advantage. Rejected because does not account for lies.
  • knowledgeable. intelligent and well informed. Does not speak to distinguishing truth from lies.
  • perceptive. Having or showing sensitive insight. Does not speak to discernment of truth or lies.
  • suspicious. Having or showing a cautious distrust of someone or something.. Speaks more to distrust than separation of truth from lies.
  • unbelieving. Not believing someone or something. Does not speak to the ability to distinguish truth from lies.
  • 3
    From the title, I came here to post discernment. But you have already discounted it. – jejorda2 Jul 14 '17 at 20:55
  • This question is a single-word-request and as such needs to be edited to include a requisite contextual sentence to help us understand what the best word is to meet your needs. Since you have proposed a synonym/antonym, you should also show us that you have consulted a thesaurus and tell us why you have dismissed at least the very best examples as meeting your needs. The question may end up closed otherwise. – Tonepoet Jul 14 '17 at 21:28
  • 1
    I hate this kind of question. I don't believe there exists some inherent trait or personality type that encompasses an ability to perceive that a lie is being told. That's a crock, as they say in my neighborhood. This is not an ability. One person could figure out if a particular person is lying in some instances, but not in others. Many factors come into play. – Lambie Jul 14 '17 at 22:01
  • 1
    @Lambie, I see your point, but the fact remains that some people are much easier to fool than others. What is the adjective to describe one that is not-so-easy-to-fool? – kmiklas Jul 14 '17 at 22:16
  • 2
    'Not so Jane, she's a veritable lie detector' is what I'd say, metaphorically comparing her to the machine. – Spagirl Jul 15 '17 at 6:55
1

How about the word wisdom?

Def: The ability to discern what is true, right, etc. if you can discern truth then you automatically negate lies.

The use of the word discern in the definition also, in my opinion, doesn't pose a problem since it is defined as follows: if you discern something, you are aware of it and know it. ie the truth

Collins dictionary.

  • In my mind, wisdom has that King Solomon quality about it. I don't disagree that wisdom encompasses the ability to discern truth from lie, but wisdom embodies far more. I seek a term that more precisely describes the ability to discern truth from lie. Perhaps discern is the best that English has to offer. – kmiklas Jul 14 '17 at 22:18
  • Thank you for your comment. Yes, perhaps wisdom is too general . – user242899 Jul 14 '17 at 23:32
0

I might suggest the word Sagacious

Sagacious combines some elements of "wise to the world" with the concept of a sharp and well considered use of intellect, as I understand the word

Sagacious at Dictionary.com adjective

1. having or showing acute mental discernment and keen practical sense; shrewd:

a sagacious lawyer.

  • 'Discerning' which is really your best choice, @kmiklas (because it connotes the ability to discern a truth from a lie) is also used to define 'sagacious' in this excellent answer and therefore 'sagacious' is another good option that fits your case. – English Student Jul 15 '17 at 1:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.