Angela’s ABCs: words sometimes confused – discrete and discreet by Angela Caldin

The adjectives discrete and discreet are homophones which share the same Latin origin: discretus, meaning separate. They are pronounced the same way, but have different meanings. Discrete has stayed close in meaning to its Latin origins and means individually separate and distinct: We can no longer view extreme incidents such as flood, drought and high temperatures as discrete happenings, but must study them in the context of climate change as a whole. The golf club has three discrete membership categories. The mechanical device consists of several discrete parts which all work together… Read More

Angela’s ABCs: Words Easily Confused – Discreet and Discrete

Discreet This is an adjective meaning prudent, circumspect, modest, self-restrained and tactful. Although she was extremely wealthy, she dressed in a discreet way and shopped in downmarket places. I desperately wanted to confide in someone about my problems, but it was difficult to know who would keep things to themselves and be totally discreet. Discrete This is an adjective meaning distinct or separate and is used to identify a particular whole as having distinct, separate, or non-continuous parts. The facility had several discrete resources: a pharmacy, a detox centre, a crisis care provision and a health… Read More