Origin of discreet
Can be confuseddiscreet discrete
Discrete, “apart or detached from others; separate; distinct,” was originally a spelling doublet of discreet, sharing meanings and both deriving from the same Latin source. The spelling discrete is closer in form to Latin discrētus and is probably an attempt to differentiate discreet from discrete.
The Middle English Dictionary has two senses at the headword discrēt(e): the sense “wise, morally discerning, prudent, circumspect” has 29 citations; the sense “separate, distinct” has four (in angelology, astronomy, and mathematics).
It wasn’t until the late 16th century that discrete became restricted to its present meanings, leaving the spelling discreet to predominate in its own current uses.
Examples from the Web for discreet
His timing was cautious, and the bar was a discreet 50-foot walk from the hotel.
Welcome to The Angel, one of the pay-by-the-hour lodgings offering a discreet haven for trysts and visits with dominatrixes.
Though Billings was discreet about his sexual orientation, it was well known throughout Washington.
The sex scene between April and Mr. B. is a montage of discreet close-ups.
The French press dubbed Hidalgo “the discreet one,” or chided her lack of charisma.
But Serge, prudent and discreet, even in the most affectionate moments, led Jeanne to take a more sensible view.Serge Panine, Complete|Georges Ohnet
The "Be Discreet" of the Beard was a gag, which he rolled round the servant's head in expert fashion.Messengers of Evil|Pierre Souvestre
The discreet man-servant outside blushed with shame that such a thing should happen under his roof.Armorel of Lyonesse|Walter Besant
In the man Francesco had long discovered the judicial mind, and the discreet intelligence of the trained statesman.The Hill of Venus|Nathan Gallizier
Hilversum is the Chislehurst of Holland—a discreet and wealthy suburb, where business men have their villas amid the trees.A Wanderer in Holland|E. V. Lucas