# discrete

### adjective

- (of a topology or topological space) having the property that every subset is an open set.
- defined only for an isolated set of points: a discrete variable.
- using only arithmetic and algebra; not involving calculus: discrete methods.

## SYNONYMS FOR discrete

## QUIZZES

#### QUIZ YOURSELF ON "WAS" VS. "WERE"!

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Improve Your Writing## Origin of discrete

## OTHER WORDS FROM discrete

dis·crete·ly, adverbdis·crete·ness, noun## WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH discrete

discreet, discrete## Words nearby discrete

## DISCRETE VS. DISCREET

### What’s the difference between *discrete* and *discreet*?

*Discrete* means separate or distinct, as in *discrete concepts* or *discrete parts*. *Discreet* most commonly means tactful, prudent, or careful to avoid revealing things that may cause embarrassment, such as when communicating sensitive information, as in *a discreet message* or *You can tell her, but be discreet about it*.

Less commonly, *discreet* can also mean unobtrusive—a modest necklace may be described as *discreet*. In all cases, the word *discreet* is used in situations in which an effort is made to avoid calling attention to someone or something. When you’re being *discreet*, you’re showing discretion.

*Discrete*, on the other hand, is typically used in technical, non-personal contexts. It has more specific meanings in the context of math and statistics.

Here’s a fun way to remember the difference: in *discreet*, the two *e*’s are right next to each other—the one *e* looks like it’s *discreetly* whispering something in the other’s ear. In *discrete*, the two *e*’s are kept separate by the *t* in the middle.

Here’s an example of *discrete* and *discreet* used correctly in a sentence.

Example:* He mistakenly thought the two parts were discrete, but I told him that they are in fact connected—in a discreet way, of course. *

**Want to learn more? Read the full breakdown of the difference between discrete and discreet.**

### Quiz yourself on *discrete* vs. *discreet*!

**Should discrete or discreet be used in the following sentence?**

*In my mind, these two topics are entirely _____—they don’t overlap at all.*

## Example sentences from the Web for discrete

## British Dictionary definitions for discrete

### adjective

- (of a variable) having consecutive values that are not infinitesimally close, so that its analysis requires summation rather than integration
- (of a distribution) relating to a discrete variableCompare continuous (def. 4)