Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The quality of being discreet; circumspection. See Synonyms at prudence.
  • n. Ability or power to decide responsibly.
  • n. Freedom to act or judge on one's own: All the decisions were left to our discretion.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Disjunction; separation.
  • n. The quality of being discreet; wise conduct and management; cautious discernment, especially as to matters of propriety and self-control; prudence; circumspection; wariness.
  • n. Discrimination.
  • n. Freedom to act according to one's own judgment; unrestrained exercise of choice or will.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Separation; disjunction.
  • n. The quality of being discreet; nice discernment and judgment, directed by circumspection, and primarily regarding one's own conduct; prudence; sagacity; circumspection; wariness; caution.
  • n. 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.
  • n. 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.
  • n. At the mercy of an antagonist or enemy Thus, to surrender at discretion is to surrender without terms.
  • n. Synonyms Prudence, Providence, etc. See wisdom and prudence.

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

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

Etymologies

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Examples

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