Discreet vs. Discrete - What's the difference?

Wiktionary

  • Discreet (adjective)

    Respectful of privacy or secrecy; exercising caution in order to avoid causing embarrassment; quiet; diplomatic.

    "With a discreet gesture, she reminded him to mind his manners."

    "John just doesn't understand that laughing at Mary all day is not very discreet."

  • Discreet (adjective)

    Not drawing attention, anger or challenge; inconspicuous.

  • Discrete (adjective)

    Separate; distinct; individual; non-continuous.

    "a government with three discrete divisions"

  • Discrete (adjective)

    That can be perceived individually and not as connected to, or part of something else.

  • Discrete (adjective)

    Having separate electronic components, such as individual resistors and inductors — the opposite of integrated circuitry.

  • Discrete (adjective)

    Having separate and independent channels of audio, as opposed to multiplexed stereo or quadraphonic, or other multi-channel sound.

  • Discrete (adjective)

    Having each singleton subset open: said of a topological space or a topology.

  • Discrete (adjective)

    disjunctive; containing a disjunctive or discretive clause

    ""I resign my life, but not my honour" is a discrete proposition."

Webster Dictionary

  • Discreet (adjective)

    Possessed of discernment, especially in avoiding error or evil, and in the adaptation of means to ends; prudent; sagacious; judicious; not rash or heedless; cautious.

  • Discreet (adjective)

    Differing; distinct.

  • Discrete (adjective)

    Separate; distinct; disjunct.

  • Discrete (adjective)

    Disjunctive; containing a disjunctive or discretive clause; as, "I resign my life, but not my honor," is a discrete proposition.

  • Discrete (adjective)

    Separate; not coalescent; - said of things usually coalescent.

  • Discrete

    To separate.

Princeton's WordNet

  • Discreet (adjective)

    marked by prudence or modesty and wise self-restraint;

    "his trusted discreet aide"

    "a discreet, finely wrought gold necklace"

  • Discreet (adjective)

    unobtrusively perceptive and sympathetic;

    "a discerning editor"

    "a discreet silence"

  • Discreet (adjective)

    heedful of potential consequences;

    "circumspect actions"

    "physicians are now more circumspect about recommending its use"

    "a discreet investor"

  • Discrete (adjective)

    constituting a separate entity or part;

    "a government with three discrete divisions"

    "on two distinct occasions"

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