• WordNet 3.6
    • n discretion the trait of judging wisely and objectively "a man of discernment"
    • n discretion the power of making free choices unconstrained by external agencies
    • n discretion knowing how to avoid embarrassment or distress "the servants showed great tact and discretion"
    • n discretion refined taste; tact
    • n discretion freedom to act or judge on one's own
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Discretion Discrimination. "Well spoken, with good accent and good discretion ."
    • Discretion Disjunction; separation.
    • Discretion Freedom to act according to one's own judgment; unrestrained exercise of choice or will.
    • Discretion The quality of being discreet; wise conduct and management; cautious discernment, especially as to matters of propriety and self-control; prudence; circumspection; wariness. "The better part of valor is discretion .""The greatest parts without discretion may be fatal to their owner."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n discretion Separation; disjunction.
    • n discretion The quality of being discreet; nice discernment and judgment, directed by circumspection, and primarily regarding one's own conduct; prudence; sagacity; circumspection; wariness; caution.
    • n discretion Liberty or power of acting without other control than one's own judgment; independent determination: as, he is left to his own discretion; it is at your discretion to go or to stay.
    • n discretion In law, that part of the judicial power which depends, not upon the application of rules of law or the determination of questions of strict right, but upon personal judgment to be exercised in view of the circumstances of each case, and which therefore is not usually reviewed by an appellate tribunal, unless abused. Thus, the question how many witnesses a party may call to testify to one and the same fact rests in discretion, but the question whether a particular witness is competent does not.
    • n discretion At the mercy of an antagonist or enemy Thus, to surrender at discretion is to surrender without terms.
    • n discretion Synonyms Prudence, Providence, etc. See wisdom and prudence.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Discretion dis-kresh′un quality of being discreet: prudence: liberty to act at pleasure
    • ***


  • Bible
    “The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression. [Proverbs 19:11]”
  • Tennessee Williams
    “Bohemia has no banner. It survives by discretion.”
  • Denis Diderot
    “Every man has his dignity. I'm willing to forget mine, but at my own discretion and not when someone else tells me to.”
  • Francis Bacon
    “Discretion of speech is more than eloquence, and to speak agreeably to him with whom we deal is more than to speak in good words, or in good order.”
  • Junius
    “Notable talents are not necessarily connected with discretion.”
  • Jean De La Fontaine
    “Nothing is more dangerous than a friend without discretion; even a prudent enemy is preferable.”


Discretion is the better part of valour - This idiom means that it is often better to think carefully and not act than to do something that may cause problems.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. discrétion, L. discretio, separation, difference, discernment, fr. discernere, discretum,. See Discreet Discern
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Through Fr. from L. discretion-em, discernĕre, -crētum.


In literature:

His case had several serious difficulties, and the orders allowed of a discretion.
"The Wing-and-Wing" by J. Fenimore Cooper
I am willing to surrender, but he would have it at Discretion, and I with Discretion.
"The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3" by Joseph Addison and Richard Steele
As to artillery, each commander must use his discretion.
"Stonewall Jackson And The American Civil War" by G. F. R. Henderson
They will prescribe no conditions to you, my dear young lady; but will leave all to your own duty and discretion.
"Clarissa Harlowe, Volume 9 (of 9)" by Samuel Richardson
But it would little become political discretion to affect precipitancy in the judgment of character.
"The Water-Witch or, The Skimmer of the Seas" by James Fenimore Cooper
I had rather you stood on your maidenly dignity and discretion than on your birth.
"A Reputed Changeling" by Charlotte M. Yonge
The most absolute discretion was to be observed.
"The Roll-Call" by Arnold Bennett
Flush was warned to make no demonstration, and he behaved with admirable discretion.
"Robert Browning" by Edward Dowden
No man of good discretion spreads himself too thin.
"A Backward Glance at Eighty" by Charles A. Murdock
He foretold events with much discretion.
"Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Vol. 1 of 14" by Elbert Hubbard

In poetry:

Now let the Lord of Hosts be praised!
Cheer brave Fitzgibbon's band,
Whose bold discretion won the day,
And saved our threatened land!
"A Ballad Of 1812" by Sarah Anne Curzon
Will, o'ercome wi' Tam's oration,
Baith fell to and ate their fill--
'Tam!' quo' Will, 'in mere discretion,
We maun hae the Widow's gill.'
"Scotland's Scaith, Or, The History O' Will And Jean. Owre True A Tale. In Two Parts" by Hector MacNeill
"Don't talk!" he cried, as I began
To mutter some excuse.
"Who can have patience with a man
That's got no more discretion than
An idiotic goose?
"Phantasmagoria Canto VI ( Dyscomfyture )" by Lewis Carroll
The hands of Industry have to the head
(Aweary grown of swinging to and fro)
Without discretion's sober forethought said:
"We ought to be above, and you below."
"The Great Strike" by Albery Allson Whitman
Peace to the Pipe, that silent Infidel,
Whose spiral-twisted Coils Discretion spell!
How many Kisses has he seen me Give,
How many Take - and yet he will not Tell.
"The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám Jr." by Wallace Irwin
HE, to the doctor, ev'ry matter told
Discretion in a Frenchman would be cold;
'Tis out of nature, and bespeaks the cit;
Smells strong of shop, and would not fashion fit.
"King Candaules And The Doctor Of Laws" by Jean de La Fontaine

In news:

This game helps make discrete mathematics more accessible.
Reviews: Shearwater , Les Discrets, Titus Andronicus, Frightened Rabbit, Marina & The Diamonds.
Mill-Max's organic fibre plug (OFP®) solder barrier receptacles are discrete sockets for through-hole soldering into printed circuit boards.
Floss, material embellishing and finishing of the ornament is up to your discretion.
Taxation – Discretion abused in IRS action to collect tax lien .
Discretion is the better part of valor.
However, the underlying complexity of temporal proof in discrete temporal logics has led to the use of simplified formalisms and techniques, such as temporal interval algebras or model checking.
Although integrated circuits have widespread application, the role of discrete transistors both as important building blocks which students must understand, and as practical solutions to design problems, remains undiminished.
TV writer Gary Goldstein's Parental Discretion is a peppery little comedy about an angst-ridden gay couple who can't decide whether to have a child.
This innovative, low-power, low-phase noise oscillator technology is currently available in discrete-component form but ready to make a transition to integrated circuits.
When members of the uniformed services were granted the right to participate in the TSP back in 2000, regulators left the decision about whether to offer matching contributions to the discretion of each uniformed services division.
Prior to AMDUCA, extralabel use was technically illegal but was allowed under regulatory discretion by the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM).
Like all of Blue's studio microphones, Reactor employs fully discrete, Class-A solid-state components.
ANTENNAS ARE EVOLVING from conventional discrete structures to antenna-in-package (AiP) solutions.
The owners reclaiming property must then provide the Texas comptroller's office sufficient proof of ownership, subject to the agency's discretion.

In science:

The aim of this paper is to completely determine all points in C3 that are parameters for the discrete non-elementary RP groups with one generator parabolic: S∞ = {(γ , β ) : (β , 0, γ ) are parameters for some hf , g i ∈ DRP }, where DRP denotes the class of all discrete non-elementary RP groups.
A two-dimensional slice through the parameter space of two-generator Kleinian groups
Therefore, Γ, eΓ, and Γ∗ are either all discrete, or all non-discrete.
A two-dimensional slice through the parameter space of two-generator Kleinian groups
The method is also able to provide real-frequency quantities without the need of analytical continuation tools, even if the spectra are necessarily discrete, due to the discreteness of the effective model.
Solving Dynamical Mean-Field Theory at very low temperature using Lanczos Exact Diagonalization
We may also consider the set S of all discrete finite positive Borel measures on (0, 1) (‘discrete’ means existence of a countable set of full measure) together with the equivalence relation E of mutual absolute continuity.
Brownian local minima, random dense countable sets and random equivalence classes
Nevertheless, one can also choose different constructions where the discretization is given directly by the graph, i.e. discretization intervals would be complete edges of the graph.
Quantum Riemannian Geometry and Black Holes