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[dih-skreet] /dɪˈskrit/
apart or detached from others; separate; distinct:
six discrete parts.
consisting of or characterized by distinct or individual parts; discontinuous.
  1. (of a topology or topological space) having the property that every subset is an open set.
  2. defined only for an isolated set of points:
    a discrete variable.
  3. using only arithmetic and algebra; not involving calculus:
    discrete methods.
Origin of discrete
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin discrētus separated; see discreet
Related forms
discretely, adverb
discreteness, noun
Can be confused
discreet, discrete.
1. different, individual, unconnected. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for discretely
  • discretely looking is totally acceptable, so long as it is not leering or abusive.
  • Today, the guest rooms still feature period furniture and have been discretely modernized.
  • Entropy is not something that can be viewed discretely.
  • It neatly does away with concerns about iconography and can be discretely placed.
  • Said essay is scored upon a number of discretely quantifiable variables none of which include content.
  • Tell the supervisor discretely that you would be screened in a private location.
British Dictionary definitions for discretely


separate or distinct in form or concept
consisting of distinct or separate parts
  1. (of a variable) having consecutive values that are not infinitesimally close, so that its analysis requires summation rather than integration
  2. (of a distribution) relating to a discrete variable Compare continuous (sense 4)
Derived Forms
discretely, adverb
discreteness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Latin discrētus separated, set apart; see discreet
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for discretely



late 14c., see discreet. Related: Discretely.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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discretely in Medicine

discrete dis·crete (dĭ-skrēt')
Not joined to or incorporated with another; separate; distinct.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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