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Discreet vs Discrete


  • ‘Discreet’ (adj) means ‘careful not to cause embarrassment or attract too much attention’.
  • ‘Discrete’ (adj) means ‘distinct, separate, or different from other things’.

What’s the difference between ‘discreet’ and ‘discrete’?

As they look and sound similar, it is very easy to confuse and misspell these words. But they mean very different things, so make sure you use the right one in the context of your sentence.

  • You may describe either a person or thing as discreet, meaning unobtrusive.
  • ‘Discrete’ is more often related to things and more common in academic writing (e.g. a discrete particle in Physics).

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How they’re used

Example sentences with ‘discreet’

  • The intervention was deemed discreet by previous standards.
  • We explore a discreet way to control the acoustic environment.

Example sentences with ‘discrete’

  • This can be used to smooth out the boundary of a discrete region.
  • We studied pattern recognition problems involving discrete variables.