• WordNet 3.6
    • adj discreet marked by prudence or modesty and wise self-restraint "his trusted discreet aide","a discreet, finely wrought gold necklace"
    • adj discreet heedful of potential consequences "circumspect actions","physicians are now more circumspect about recommending its use","a discreet investor"
    • adj discreet unobtrusively perceptive and sympathetic "a discerning editor","a discreet silence"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Discreet Differing; distinct.
    • Discreet 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. "It is the discreet man, not the witty, nor the learned, nor the brave, who guides the conversation, and gives measures to society.""Satire 's my weapon, but I 'm too discreet To run amuck, and tilt at all I meet.""The sea is silent, the sea is discreet ."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • discreet Distinct; distinguishable; discrete. See discrete, the usual spelling in this sense.
    • discreet Wise or judicious in avoiding mistakes or faults, or in selecting the best means to accomplish a purpose; prudent; circumspect; cautious; wary; not rash.
    • discreet Civil; polite.
    • discreet Synonyms See list under cautious.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Discreet dis-krēt′ having discernment: wary: circumspect: prudent
    • ***


  • Mark Twain
    “We are discreet sheep; we wait to see how the drove is going, and then go with the drove.”
  • Duke of Wellington Arthur Wellesley
    Duke of Wellington Arthur Wellesley
    “Be discreet in all things, and so render it unnecessary to be mysterious.”
  • The Talmud
    The Talmud
    “Thy friend has a friend, and thy friend's friend has a friend; be discreet.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. discret, L. discretus, separated (whence the meaning reserved, prudent,), p. p. of discernere,. See Discern, and cf. Discrete
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. discret—L. discrētusdiscernĕre, to separate, to perceive.


In literature:

Marie entered in a black dress with a white apron and a lace cap, discreet and silent.
"Woman Triumphant" by Vicente Blasco Ibañez
When she discreetly closed the door after he had entered, he said seriously, "Thank you," before he seated himself.
"Robin" by Frances Hodgson Burnett
M. de Valon is one of the most generous and discreet men of my acquaintance.
"The Vicomte de Bragelonne" by Alexandre Dumas
Don't trouble yourself, and be discreet.
"Japanese Literature" by Various
Her policy was one of discreet silence about "unpleasant things" if they could be covered up.
"One Woman's Life" by Robert Herrick
This was out of the ordinary, even in Mrs. Jepson's stratum of society, and so she watched her, discreetly.
"Rimrock Jones" by Dane Coolidge
But it's much discreeter than yours are, Dick.
"Ambrotox and Limping Dick" by Oliver Fleming
Some one coughed discreetly.
"The Mask" by Arthur Hornblow
I smiled my satisfaction that she had been so discreet.
"The Black Wolf's Breed" by Harris Dickson
We must find a man who is perfectly trustworthy and discreet.
"The Plum Tree" by David Graham Phillips

In poetry:

"Take any soap, but take the pup
And also water take,
And mix the three discreetly up
Till they a lather make.
"The Ballad Of The Taylor Pup" by Eugene Field
Walked so nicely
With footsteps so discreet
To see her pass
You'd never guess
She walked upon the street.
"Bag-Snatching in Dublin" by Stevie Smith
His Lady queen of woods to meet,
He wanders day and night:
The leaves have whisperings discreet,
The mossy ways invite.
"The Youthful Quest" by George Meredith
Give ear unto the gentle lay
That's only sad that it may please;
It is discreet, and light it is:
A whiff of wind o'er buds in May.
"Give Ear Unto The Gentle Lay" by Paul Verlaine
'Beggars now, alas! wha lately
Helpt the beggar and the poor!'
'Fye! gudeman!' cried ane discreetly,
'Taunt nae poortith at our door.'
"The Waes O' War : Or The Upshot Of The History O' Will And Jean. In Four Parts" by Hector MacNeill
Ah, well! The world is discreet;
There are plenty to pause and wait;
But here was a man who set his feet
Sometimes in advance of fate;
"George L. Stearns" by John Greenleaf Whittier

In news:

Motorists can get their vehicle's identification number etched discreetly on its windows for free on Thursday as part of a AAA theft-prevention program.
0Mothers to be are taught, in a course given by the Marquette County Health Department, ways to be discreet when feeding in public.
From the outside, Firebrand Recording is an unassuming space nestled discreetly between the office spaces of a nondescript business park.
But more and more people are learning how to safely forage them, which is why Shaw and other mushroom hunters are discreet about their favorite funghi spots.
Discreetly Mine, D' Funnybone Meet Again.
The tradition of discreet communication among staff at the Stork Club lives on at the restaurant Eleven Madison Park.
It is discreet, subdued, understated.
Old towns like Stonington, named in 1666, have many stories, but tend to keep discreetly mum.
He tends to favor the more discreet strips that you rarely, if ever, notice.
Smartphone app allows discreet recording.
Finally, a Place in Brazil Where Dogs Can Go for Discreet Sex.
The idea is to expand recruitment of spies beyond the traditional method of a discreet "tap on the shoulder" at university.
It's usually pretty easy to discreetly catch a few Z's during a college lecture.
The man accused of killing Jennifer Hudson 's family was far from discreet in the months leading up to the murders, and even allegedly spilled his deadly desires to a 13-year-old stranger in a park.
The FlaskTie is a tie from Baxdo that has an actual flask inside of it – so you can discreetly take a sip of booze from your tie.

In science:

Thus one knows that the right thing to do is to apply the entropy maximization to the discreet energy spectra, and not to any other basis.
Comment on "Hidden assumptions in decoherence theory"
Exclusion of constructions that depend on discreet classical particles allows a fully wave oriented development. A dynamics based on conformal effects permits a mathematically simple scheme that is compatible with spinors.
Spinors in Quantum Geometrical Theory
Therefore the investigation of the Griffith-like contributions in the three-dimensional RFIM requires much more discreet analysis.
Off-perturbative states in disordered systems
Whenever we speak of an ob ject transforming covariantly under T-duality, we will always mean this restricted sense. T-dualities thus form a discreet set of global symmetries.
NS-NS fluxes in Hitchin's generalized geometry
The triangle is determined, up to discreet ambiguities, by these lengths or, alternatively, by two of the three vertex angles, defined in the figure to the right.
Conference Summary