See also: discrète


 Discrete on Wikipedia


From Old French discret, from Latin discrētus, past participle of discernō (divide), from dis- + cernō (sift). Doublet of discreet.



discrete (comparative more discrete, superlative most discrete)

  1. Separate; distinct; individual; non-continuous.
    a government with three discrete divisions
    • a. 1856, Ralph Walso Emerson, “Ode, Inscribed to W. H. Channing”, in Poems, 5th edition, Boston: Pillips, Sampson & Co., published 1856, page 120:
      There are two laws discrete, / Not reconciled,— / Law for man, and law for thing; / The last builds town and fleet, / But it runs wild, / And doth the man unking.
    • 1875, George Henry Lewes, “The Problem Stated”, in Problems of Life and Mind, volume II, London: Trübner & Co., page 33:
      But analysis, penetrating beneath the fact of Sense in search of its ideal factors, declares that this mass of marble is something very different from what it appears : its seeming continuity is broken up into discrete molecules, separated from each other as the stars in the Milky Way are separated ; and its seeming homogeneity is resolved into heterogeneous substances, which are themselves in all probability composite.
    • 2017, Adam Rutherford, A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived, The Experiment, →ISBN, page 254-255:
      It's not that there aren't measurable, quantifiable differences between all these categories we impose upon things, it's just that for the most part they fit not into discrete units, but into a continuum.
  2. That can be perceived individually and not as connected to, or part of something else.
  3. (electrical engineering) Having separate electronic components, such as individual diodes, transistors and resistors, as opposed to integrated circuitry.
  4. (audio engineering) Having separate and independent channels of audio, as opposed to multiplexed stereo or quadraphonic, or other multi-channel sound.
  5. (topology) Having each singleton subset open: said of a topological space or a topology.
  6. Disjunctive; containing a disjunctive or discretive clause.
    "I resign my life, but not my honour" is a discrete proposition.

Usage notesEdit

  • Although cognate and identical in the Middle English period, the term has become distinct from discreet.


Derived termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.





  1. feminine plural of discreto





  1. vocative masculine singular of discrētus





  1. indefinite feminine plural nominative/accusative of discret
  2. indefinite neuter plural nominative/accusative of discret