# Discrete or Discreet?

## What Is the Difference between "Discrete" and "Discreet"?

homesitemapA-Z confused words discrete or discreet?
"Discrete" and "discreet" are easy to confuse because they sound identical (i.e., they are perfect homonyms).
• Discrete. "Discrete" means "individually distinct." For example:
• The ship has four discrete sections.
• Discreet. "Discreet" means "inconspicuous" or "respecting secrecy." For example:
• His service is very discreet.

The adjective "discrete" means "individually distinct" or "separate" (i.e., something that is not part of something else).

Example sentences with "discrete":
• There is a rack on the bench that contains all the discrete electronic components.
• Our club has three discrete membership categories.

The adjective "discreet" means "respecting secrecy," "inconspicuous," or "diplomatic."

Example sentences with "discreet":
• You can trust my aide — he is very discreet.
• The painting was won by a discreet telephone bidder.

## A Video Summary

Here is a short video summarizing the difference between "discrete" and "discreet." video lesson

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## Ways to Remember Discrete and Discreet

With "discrete," the e's are separated. Let this remind you that "discrete" means "individually distinct."

With "discreet" the two e's look like shifty eyes. Let this remind you that "discreet" means "secretive."

#### Interesting Point

• A word that looks like what it describes is called a logosglyph.)

## Discrete Variables

In Mathematics, there is a type of variable called a "discrete variable." A discrete variable is one that cannot take on all values within its range. For example, in a survey, you might be asked to rate a holiday from 1 to 5. In this survey, you cannot choose 1.7 or 3.4. You can only choose 1,2,3,4 or 5. You cannot pick any values in between. The survey expects you to select a discrete variable.