Definition of discrete in English:



  • Individually separate and distinct.

    ‘speech sounds are produced as a continuous sound signal rather than discrete units’
    • ‘Is it a discrete inquiry by reference to the particular individual or is it a sort of general inquiry?’
    • ‘The atoms in iron, in contrast, do not cluster into discrete molecules.’
    • ‘All of these may usually be discrete and distinct domains but one key theme of this chapter is that there are also overlaps.’
    • ‘That is, does age affect general ability or does it have discrete effects on individual abilities?’
    • ‘Now I am going way out on a limb here, but could a discrete universe make this a moot point?’
    • ‘Investors own units in the fund of funds but have no discrete units in the underlying funds.’
    • ‘The patient does suffer a serious loss of cognitive function due to a discrete neurological injury, such as a stroke.’
    • ‘And it works when applications store stuff in discrete files, rather than their own data silo.’
    • ‘We have seen that in an atom, possible electron energies come in a discrete series of distinct levels.’
    • ‘Needless to say, the distinctions form a continuum, rather than discrete categories.’
    • ‘Signs are only meaningful within the system of signification in which they are produced, and not as discrete units.’
    • ‘Whilst this book is a stand-alone title in that it deals with a discrete set of texts, it must also be seen as part of a much larger whole.’
    • ‘The Official Receiver has confined his allegations under this head to the following discrete matters.’
    • ‘These conjoined applications raise one point in common and others discrete to the individual cases.’
    • ‘Assemblages are denned as coherent suites of plant fossils preserved in discrete lithological units.’
    • ‘This extended arcade also sub-divides the site into a series of discrete landscapes.’
    • ‘Mosaic warts occur as collections of small, discrete and densely packed individual warts.’
    • ‘It would provide, in other words, a discrete vehicle for important issues to be addressed.’
    • ‘Chips, being discrete units of food, rather than a single blob or lump of food, have a social element.’
    • ‘This book is not about discernment as a discrete act but rather treats it as a manner of living.’
    separate, distinct, individual, detached, unattached, disconnected, discontinuous, disjunct, disjoined
    View synonyms


Late Middle English: from Latin discretus separate; compare with discreet.