- the power or right to decide or act according to one's own judgment; freedom of judgment or choice: It is entirely within my discretion whether I will go or stay.
- the quality of being discreet, especially with reference to one's own actions or speech; prudence or decorum: Throwing all discretion to the winds, he blurted out the truth.
- at discretion, at one's option or pleasure: They were allowed to work overtime at discretion.
Origin of discretion
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Related Wordsprudence, attention, tact, wisdom, foresight, maturity, responsibility, vigilance, wariness, gumption, deliberation, diplomacy, calculation, warning, sense, watchfulness, thoughtfulness, acumen, circumspection, discrimination
Examples from the Web for discretion
The town of Paradise told parents that trick-or-treating was “at your discretion.”Killer Eric Frein Held in Murdered Cop’s Cuffs
October 31, 2014
The overriding theme of the hundreds of interviews Newman had granted is his discretion.The Stacks: The Eyes of Winter: Paul Newman at 70
October 11, 2014
And so we get policies where parents are given no discretion over whether or not to keep their kids home.The Doctor’s Note Must Die!
September 16, 2014
How from now on we were going to be seeing in Prince Harry nothing but a model of discretion, seriousness and best behaviour?Prince Harry Parties TOPLESS
July 28, 2014
This fact was revealed with a flourish during a Life Lesson on the importance of discretion, which is a story for another day.Quality Bud, but Like, Whoa, The Prices
Kelly Williams Brown
July 26, 2014
Boy, they be not due to you till you be come to years of discretion.The Armourer's Prentices
Charlotte M. Yonge
The fatuity of vicious and coroneted youth outstripped his discretion.Viviette
William J. Locke
Your crossing the Santee must depend upon your own discretion.A Sketch of the Life of Brig. Gen. Francis Marion
William Dobein James
Thus driven to extremity, the Melians surrendered at discretion.Stories from Thucydides
H. L. Havell
But the discretion of the Committee must be an informed discretion.The Secret Agent
- the quality of behaving or speaking in such a way as to avoid social embarrassment or distress
- freedom or authority to make judgments and to act as one sees fit (esp in the phrases at one's own discretion, at the discretion of)
- age of discretion or years of discretion the age at which a person is considered to be able to manage his own affairs
Word Origin and History for discretion
c.1300, dyscrecyun, "moral discernment," from Old French discrecion or directly from Late Latin discretionem (nominative discretio) "discernment, power to make distinctions," in classical Latin "separation, distinction," noun of state from past participle stem of discernere "to separate, distinguish" (see discern). Phrase at (one's) discretion attested from 1570s, from sense of "power to decide or judge" (late 14c.); the age of discretion (late 14c.) in English law was 14.
Idioms and Phrases with discretion
In addition to the idiom beginning with discretion
- discretion is the better part of valor
- throw caution (discretion) to the winds