discreet

discreet
[[t]dɪskri͟ːt[/t]]
1) ADJ-GRADED If you are discreet, you are polite and careful in what you do or say, because you want to avoid embarrassing or offending someone.

They were gossipy and not always discreet...

He followed at a discreet distance.

Derived words:
discreetly ADV-GRADED usu ADV with v, also ADV with cl

I took the phone, and she went discreetly into the living room.

2) ADJ-GRADED: oft ADJ about n If you are discreet about something you are doing, you do not tell other people about it, in order to avoid being embarrassed or to gain an advantage.

We were very discreet about the romance...

She's making a few discreet inquiries with her mother's friends.

Derived words:
discreetly ADV-GRADED usu ADV with v, also ADV with cl

Everyone worked to make him welcome, and, more discreetly, to find out about him.

3) ADJ-GRADED (approval) If you describe something as discreet, you approve of it because it is small in size or degree, or not easily noticed.

She is wearing a noticeably stylish, feminine dress, plus discreet jewellery.

Derived words:
discreetly ADV-GRADED ADV -ed/adj

...stately houses, discreetly hidden behind great avenues of sturdy trees...

The two rooms were relatively small and discreetly lit.


English dictionary. 2008.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Discreet — Dis*creet , a. [Compar. {Discreeter}; superl. {Discreetest}.] [F. discret, L. discretus separated (whence the meaning reserved, prudent), p. p. of discernere. See {Discern}, and cf. {Discrete}.] 1. Possessed of discernment, especially in avoiding …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • discreet — mid 14c., morally discerning, prudent, circumspect, from O.Fr. discret discreet, sensible, intelligent, wise, from L. discretus separated, distinct, in M.L. discerning, careful, pp. of discernere distinguish (see DISCERN (Cf. discern)). Meaning… …   Etymology dictionary

  • discreet — discreet, discrete have the same origin in the Latin verb discernere meaning ‘to sift’, but their meanings are very different. Discreet means ‘circumspect in speech or action’, can be used of people or things, and is common as an adverb… …   Modern English usage

  • discreet — ► ADJECTIVE (discreeter, discreetest) ▪ careful not to attract attention or give offence. DERIVATIVES discreetly adverb. USAGE The words discrete and discreet are often confused. Discrete means ‘separate’ (a discrete unit) …   English terms dictionary

  • discreet — I adjective astute, calculating, careful, cautious, cautus, chary, circumspect, consideratus, deliberate, diplomatic, discerning, discretional, discretionary, discriminate, discriminating, discriminative, distinguishing, forethoughtful, guarded,… …   Law dictionary

  • discreet — prudent, forethoughtful, foresighted, provident (see under PRUDENCE) Analogous words: *cautious, circumspect, wary: politic, diplomatic (see SUAVE) Antonyms: indiscreet Contrasted words: rash, reckless, foolhardy (see ADVENTUROUS): foolish,… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • discreet — [adj] cautious, sensible alert, attentive, awake, cagey, calculating, careful, chary, circumspect, civil, conservative, considerate, controlled, diplomatic, discerning, discriminating, gingerly, guarded, having foresight, heedful, intelligent,… …   New thesaurus

  • discreet — [di skrēt′] adj. [ME & OFr discret < L discretus, pp. of discernere: see DISCERN] careful about what one says or does; prudent; esp., keeping silent or preserving confidences when necessary SYN. CAREFUL discreetly adv. discreetness n …   English World dictionary

  • discreet — 01. He was not very [discreet] about his affair with his secretary, so it s not surprising that his wife found out. 02. He made some [discreet] enquiries about the company before accepting the position. 03. The detective followed the suspect at a …   Grammatical examples in English

  • discreet — di|screet [dıˈskri:t] adj [Date: 1300 1400; : French; Origin: discret, from Latin discretus, past participle of discernere; DISCERN] 1.) careful about what you say or do, so that you do not offend, upset, or embarrass people or tell secrets ≠… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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