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  1. The action of disclosing to view, or bringing to light; as, by the discovery of a plot, the public peace is preserved.
  2. Disclosure; a making known; as, a bankrupt is bound to make a full discovery of his estate and effects.
  3. The action of finding something hidden; as, the discovery of lead or silver in the earth.
  4. The act of finding out, or coming to the knowledge of; as, the discovery of truth; the discovery of magnetism.
  5. The act of espying; first sight of; as, the discovery of America by Columbus, or of the Continent by Cabot.
  6. That which is discovered, found out or revealed; that which is first brought to light, seen or known. The properties of the magnet were an important discovery. Redemption from sin was a discovery beyond the power of human philosophy.
  7. In dramatic poetry, the unraveling of a plot, or the manner of unfolding the plot or fable of a comedy or tragedy.

DIS-CRED'IT, n. [Fr. discredit; Sp. discredito; It. scredito. See the verb.]

  1. Want of credit or good reputation; some degree of disgrace or reproach; disesteem; applied to persons or things. Frauds in manufactures bring them into discredit. It is the duty of every Christian to be concerned for the reputation or discredit his life may bring on his profession. Rogers.
  2. Want of belief, trust or confidence; disbelief; as, later accounts have brought the story into discredit.

DIS-CRED'IT, v.t. [Fr. decrediter; de, des, dis, and credit.]

  1. To disbelieve; to give no credit to; not to credit or believe; as, the report is discredited.
  2. To deprive of credit or good reputation; to make less reputable or honorable; to bring into disesteem; to bring into some degree of disgrace, or into disrepute. He least discredits his travels, who returns the same man he went. – Wotton. Our virtues will be often discredited with the appearance of evil. – Rogers.
  3. To deprive of credibility. – Shak.


Tending to injure credit; injurious to reputation; disgraceful; disreputable. – Blair.


In a discreditable manner.


Disbelieved; brought into disrepute; disgraced.


Disbelieving; not trusting to; depriving of credit; disgracing.

DIS-CREET', a. [Fr. discret; Sp. discreto; It. id.; L. discretus, the participle assigned to discerno, dis and cerno, but probably from the root of riddle, W. rhidyll, from rhidiaw, to secrete, as screen is from the root of secerno, or excerno, Gr. κρινω, L. cerno; Gr. διακρισις. Class Rd. It is sometimes written discrete; the distinction between discreet and discrete is arbitrary, but perhaps not entirely useless. The literal sense is, separate, reserved, wary; hence discerning.]

Prudent; wise in avoiding errors or evil, and in selecting the best means to accomplish a purpose; circumspect; cautious; wary; not rash. It is the discreet man, not the witty, nor the learned, nor the brave, who guides the conversation, and gives measures to society. – Addison. Let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise. – Gen. xli.


Prudently; circumspectly; cautiously; with nice judgment of what is best to be done or omitted.


The quality of being discreet; discretion.

DIS-CREP'ANCE, or DIS-CREP'AN-CY, n. [L. discrepantia, discrepans, from discrepo, to give a different sound, to vary, to jar; dis and crepo, to creak. See Crepitate.]

Difference; disagreement; contrariety; applicable to facts or opinions. There is no real discrepancy between these two genealogies. – Faber.


Different; disagreeing; contrary.

DIS-CRETE', a. [L. discretus. See Discreet.]

  1. Separate; distinct; disjunct. Discrete proportion is when the ratio of two or more pairs of numbers or quantities is the same, but there is not the same proportion between all the numbers; as, 3: 6 : : 8 : 16, 3 bearing the same proportion to 6, as 8 does to 16. But 3 is not to 6 as 6 to 8. It is thus opposed to continued or continual proportion, as, 3: 6 : : 12 : 24. – Harris.
  2. Disjunctive; as, I resign my life, but not my honor, is a discrete proposition. – Johnson.


In language, a discrete sound is one which has intermissions. – Rush.

DIS-CRETE', v.t.

To separate; to discontinue. [Not used.] – Brown.

DIS-CRE'TION, n. [Fr. discretion; It. discrezione; Sp. discrecion; from the L. discretio, a separating; discretus, discerno. See Discreet.]

  1. Prudence, or knowledge and prudence; that discernment which enables a person to judge critically of what is correct and proper, united with caution; nice discernment and judgment, directed by circumspection, and primarily regarding one's own conduct. A good man … will guide his affairs with discretion. – Ps. cxii. My son, keep sound wisdom and discretion. – Prov. iii.
  2. Liberty or power of acting without other control than one's own judgment; as, the management of affairs was left to the discretion of the prince; he is left to his own discretion. Hence, To surrender at discretion, is to surrender without stipulation or terms, and commit one's self entirely to the power of the conqueror.
  3. Disjunction; separation. [Not much used.] – Mede.


At discretion; according to discretion.


Left to discretion; unrestrained except by discretion or judgment; that is to be directed or managed by discretion only. Thus, the President of the United States is, in certain cases, invested with discretionary powers, to act according to circumstances.

DIS-CRE'TIVE, a. [See Discreet and Discrete.]

  1. Disjunctive; noting separation or opposition. In logic, a discretive proposition expresses some distinction, opposition or variety, by means of but, though, yet, &c.; as, travelers change their climate, but not their temper; Job was patient, though his grief was great.
  2. In grammar, discretive distinctions are such as imply opposition or difference; as, not a man, but a beast. – Johnson.
  3. Separate; distinct.


In a discretive manner.


That may be discriminated.


Distinguished; having the difference marked. – Bacon.


  1. To make a difference or distinction; as, in the application of law, and the punishment of crimes, the judge should discriminate between degrees of guilt.
  2. To observe or note a difference; to distinguish; as, in judging of evidence, we should be careful to discriminate between probability and slight presumption.

DIS-CRIM'IN-ATE, v.t. [L. discrimino, from discrimen, difference, distinction; dis and crimen, differently applied; coinciding with the sense of Gr. διακρινω, κρινω, L. cerno.]

  1. To distinguish; to observe the difference between; as, we may usually discriminate true from false modesty.
  2. To separate; to select from others; to make a distinction between; as, in the last judgment, the righteous will be discriminated from the wicked.
  3. To mark with notes of difference; to distinguish by some note or mark. We discriminate animals by names, as nature has discriminated them by different shapes and habits.


Separated; distinguished.