discrete

discreet, discrete
have the same origin in the Latin verb discernere meaning ‘to sift’, but their meanings are very different. Discreet means ‘circumspect in speech or action’, can be used of people or things, and is common as an adverb discreetly:

• A public telephone stood in one corner of the discreetly lit foyer —R. Busby, 1971

• I noticed a few discreet establishments that looked as unauthentic, or as authentic according to your viewpoint, as New York's massage parlours —Times, 1972.

Discrete means ‘distinct, separate’:

• It's a single flowing movement of eight discrete monumental pieces in steel…created by the American sculptor Richard Serra —Times, 2005.


Modern English usage. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Discrete — in science is the opposite of continuous: something that is separate; distinct; individual. This article is about the possible uses of the word discrete . For a definition of the word discreet , see the Wiktionary entry discreet. Discrete may… …   Wikipedia

  • Discrete — Dis*crete , a. [L. discretus, p. p. of discernere. See {Discreet}.] 1. Separate; distinct; disjunct. Sir M. Hale. [1913 Webster] 2. Disjunctive; containing a disjunctive or discretive clause; as, I resign my life, but not my honor, is a discrete… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Discrete — Dis*crete , v. t. To separate. [Obs.] Sir T. Browne. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • discrete — I adjective apart, asunder, cut off, detached, different, disassociated, disconnected, discontinu, discontinuous, discretive, disengaged, disjoined, disjoint, disjunct, dissociated, distinct, distinguished, disunited, divided, individual,… …   Law dictionary

  • Discrete — Discrete,   diskret …   Universal-Lexikon

  • discrete — late 14c., see DISCREET (Cf. discreet). Related: Discretely …   Etymology dictionary

  • discrete — separate, *distinct, several Analogous words: individual, distinctive, peculiar (see CHARACTERISTIC) Contrasted words: blended, merged, fused, mingled (see MIX) …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • discrete — [adj] individual detached, different, disconnected, discontinuous, distinct, diverse, separate, several, unattached, various; concept 564 Ant. attached, combined, joined …   New thesaurus

  • discrete — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ individually separate and distinct. DERIVATIVES discretely adverb discreteness noun. ORIGIN Latin discretus separate : compare with DISCREET(Cf. ↑discreetly) …   English terms dictionary

  • discrete — [di skrēt′] adj. [ME discret: see DISCREET] 1. separate and distinct; not attached to others; unrelated 2. made up of distinct parts; discontinuous 3. designating or of an electronic circuit having separate transistors, resistors, etc. discretely …   English World dictionary

  • discrete — 01. The [discrete] sound difference between the vowels /ou/ and /u/ in French can be difficult for English speakers to hear. 02. The instruction manual for the software breaks down the installation process into a series of [discrete] steps. 03. A …   Grammatical examples in English

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