Definition for DIS-CREET'

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.

Return to page 125 of the letter “D”.