To notice or learn, especially by making an effort: got home and discovered that the furnace wasn't working. To be the first, or the first of one's group or kind, to find, learn of, or observe. To learn about for the first time in one's experience: discovered a new restaurant on the west side. To learn something about: discovered him to be an impostor; discovered the brake to be defective. To identify (a person) as a potentially prominent performer: a movie star who was discovered in a drugstore by a producer. Archaic To reveal or expose.