Uncover vs. Discover: What's the Difference?
o uncover is to reveal or expose something that was hidden or unknown, while to discover is to find or realize something for the first time.
Uncover and discover are terms frequently used to describe the act of finding or realizing something. While "uncover" implies exposing or revealing something previously concealed, "discover" connotes the act of encountering or recognizing something for the first time.
In the realm of investigation, when one seeks to uncover evidence, they aim to bring to light information that might have been hidden or overlooked. However, to discover evidence might mean to stumble upon or find evidence that was previously unknown or unrecognized.
Think of an archaeologist at a dig site. If they uncover an artifact, they're essentially removing the earth or debris that concealed it. On the other hand, if they discover an artifact, they're finding or coming across an item or fact that was previously unknown to them or the world.
In literature or journalism, a story might be uncovered if it was kept secret or hidden from the public, requiring the journalist to reveal it. However, a journalist might discover a story if they come across a situation or event they weren't aware of before, introducing a fresh narrative or angle.
At the heart of their differences, uncover often relates to the process of revealing something, removing layers or obstacles to expose it. In contrast, discover usually refers to the moment of realization, the instant when something previously unknown becomes known.
Reveal or expose something previously hidden.
Find or realize something for the first time.
Removing layers or obstacles.
Encountering or recognizing.
Often implies intention.
Can be accidental or intentional.
Can be physical or metaphorical.
Usually pertains to knowledge or realization.
Moment or realization-oriented.
Uncover and Discover Definitions
To remove a cover or obstacle from.
She uncovered the pot to check the soup.
To find out or realize something previously unknown.
He discovered a new method for solving the problem.
To expose or make visible.
The wind uncovered the hidden treasure in the sand.
To make known or visible.
The research discovered the benefits of the new drug.
To divulge or make known.
He uncovered secrets from the company's past.
To notice or encounter for the first time.
She discovered a small café hidden in the alley.
To reveal or bring to light.
The detective uncovered the truth behind the mystery.
To be the first to recognize or understand.
Galileo discovered the moons of Jupiter.
To lay bare or open to view.
The excavation team uncovered an ancient tomb.
To come upon after searching or by chance.
The explorers discovered an uncharted island.
To remove the cover from
Uncovered the saucepan.
To notice or learn, especially by making an effort
Got home and discovered that the furnace wasn't working.
To manifest or disclose; reveal
Uncovered new evidence.
To be the first, or the first of one's group or kind, to find, learn of, or observe.
To remove the hat from, as in respect or reverence.
To learn about for the first time in one's experience
Discovered a new restaurant on the west side.
To remove a cover.
To learn something about
Discovered him to be an impostor.
Discovered the brake to be defective.
To bare the head in respect or reverence.
To identify (a person) as a potentially prominent performer
A movie star who was discovered in a drugstore by a producer.
To remove a cover from.
The model railway was uncovered.
(Archaic) To reveal or expose.
To reveal the identity of.
The murderer has finally been uncovered.
To find or learn something for the first time.
Turning the corner, I discovered a lovely little shop. I discovered that they sold widgets.
To show openly; to disclose; to reveal.
To remove the cover from; to uncover (a head, building etc.).
To remove one's hat or cap as a mark of respect.
To expose, uncover.
The gust of wind discovered a bone in the sand.
To expose the genitalia.
To create by moving a piece out of another piece's line of attack.
This move discovers an attack on a vital pawn.
To expose (lines of formation of troops) successively by the wheeling to right or left of the lines in front.
To question (a person) as part of discovery in a lawsuit.
To take the cover from; to divest of covering; as, to uncover a box, bed, house, or the like; to uncover one's body.
To reveal (information); to divulge, make known.
I discovered my plans to the rest of the team.
To show openly; to disclose; to reveal.
To reconnoitre, explore (an area).
To divest of the hat or cap; to bare the head of; as, to uncover one's head; to uncover one's self.
(obsolete) To manifest without design; to show; to exhibit.
To take off the hat or cap; to bare the head in token of respect.
We are forced to uncover after them.
Whether any man hath pulled down or discovered any church.
To remove the covers from dishes, or the like.
Uncover, dogs, and lap.
To disclose; to lay open to view; to make visible; to reveal; to make known; to show (what has been secret, unseen, or unknown).
Go, draw aside the curtains, and discoverThe several caskets to this noble prince.
Prosperity doth best discover vice; but adversity doth best discover virtue.
We will discover ourselves unto them.
Discover not a secret to another.
Summer brings out bright clothes
He brings out the best in her
The newspaper uncovered the President's illegal dealings
To obtain for the first time sight or knowledge of, as of a thing existing already, but not perceived or known; to find; to ascertain; to espy; to detect.
Some to discover islands far away.
Remove all or part of one's clothes to show one's body;
Uncover your belly
The man exposed himself in the subway
To manifest without design; to show.
The youth discovered a taste for sculpture.
To explore; to examine.
To discover or show one's self.
This done, they discover.
Nor was this the first time that they discovered to be followers of this world.
Discover or determine the existence, presence, or fact of;
She detected high levels of lead in her drinking water
We found traces of lead in the paint
Make a discovery, make a new finding;
Roentgen discovered X-rays
Physicists believe they found a new elementary particle
Get to know or become aware of, usually accidentally;
I learned that she has two grown-up children
I see that you have been promoted
Make a discovery;
She found that he had lied to her
The story is false, so far as I can discover
The archeologists chanced upon an old tomb
She struck a goldmine
The hikers finally struck the main path to the lake
Make known to the public information that was previously known only to a few people or that was meant to be kept a secret;
The auction house would not disclose the price at which the van Gogh had sold
The actress won't reveal how old she is
Bring out the truth
He broke the news to her
See for the first time; make a discovery;
Who discovered the North Pole?
Identify as in botany or biology, for example
Can you uncover a fact?
Yes, uncovering a fact means revealing or making known a previously hidden truth.
What's the main distinction between the two?
To uncover is to expose or reveal, while to discover is to find or come across.
Is it correct to say "uncover a new species"?
Typically, one would say "discover a new species," but "uncover" could work if emphasizing the revelation aspect.
Does discovery always require human intervention?
No, nature can discover paths or mechanisms without human involvement.
Can discover imply a rediscovery of something lost?
Yes, one can discover something that was once known but then forgotten.
Can a person be discovered?
Yes, for example, an artist can be discovered by the public or industry professionals.
Can uncover imply a negative connotation?
Sometimes, as in "uncovering a scandal."
Can you uncover a talent?
Yes, one can uncover (reveal) a previously unrecognized talent.
Is uncover always a deliberate action?
Not always, something can be uncovered accidentally.
Can a story or news be both uncovered and discovered?
Yes, a journalist might discover a story (find it) and then uncover details (reveal them).
Is discovery always a positive experience?
Not necessarily, one can discover unpleasant truths.
Do these terms have synonymous meanings in any context?
In some contexts, they can be used interchangeably, but they usually have distinct nuances.
Can an invention be a discovery?
Yes, if someone finds or realizes a new method or item, it can be termed a discovery.
Can a discovery be covered up?
Yes, information or truths that are discovered can later be concealed or hidden.
Does uncovering always precede discovery?
Not necessarily, one might discover something first and then uncover more about it.
Can you uncover a theory?
While theories are typically developed or formulated, details or evidence supporting a theory can be uncovered.
Is a discovery always novel?
A discovery denotes something new to the discoverer, but it might be known to others.
Is every discovery groundbreaking?
No, while some discoveries are monumental, others might be minor.
How do these terms relate in science?
Scientists uncover data through research and might discover new phenomena or principles.
Can uncovering lead to new discoveries?
Absolutely, as uncovering information or facts can lead to fresh realizations.
Written bySawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited bySumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.