from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The quality of being discreet; circumspection.
  • noun Freedom to act or judge on one's own.
  • noun Archaic The ability or power to discern what is responsible or socially appropriate.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Separation; disjunction.
  • noun The quality of being discreet; nice discernment and judgment, directed by circumspection, and primarily regarding one's own conduct; prudence; sagacity; circumspection; wariness; caution.
  • noun Liberty or power of acting without other control than one's own judgment; independent determination: as, he is left to his own discretion; it is at your discretion to go or to stay.
  • noun In law, that part of the judicial power which depends, not upon the application of rules of law or the determination of questions of strict right, but upon personal judgment to be exercised in view of the circumstances of each case, and which therefore is not usually reviewed by an appellate tribunal, unless abused.
  • noun At the mercy of an antagonist or enemy Thus, to surrender at discretion is to surrender without terms.
  • noun Synonyms Prudence, Providence, etc. See wisdom and prudence.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun obsolete Disjunction; separation.
  • noun The quality of being discreet; wise conduct and management; cautious discernment, especially as to matters of propriety and self-control; prudence; circumspection; wariness.
  • noun Discrimination.
  • noun Freedom to act according to one's own judgment; unrestrained exercise of choice or will.
  • noun without conditions or stipulations.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The quality of being discreet or circumspect
  • noun The ability to make wise choices or decisions
  • noun The freedom to make one's own judgements

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun knowing how to avoid embarrassment or distress
  • noun the power of making free choices unconstrained by external agencies
  • noun freedom to act or judge on one's own
  • noun the trait of judging wisely and objectively
  • noun refined taste; tact


Sorry, no etymologies found.


The word discretion has been adopted in honor of Emily Lang.

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  • Discretion is the better part of pallor.

    April 27, 2008

  • De scratchin'* is de bitter part of Mahler.


    * of the string section

    April 27, 2008

  • Personally I go for the hammer blows.*

    *Sixth Symphony

    April 27, 2008