Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Discreet and discrete

Another word post:

Discreet and discrete are pronounced exactly the same, so you have to go with context to figure out which one is meant. 

Discreet: [adjective] careful and prudent, especially when trying to keep a secret

Discrete: [adjective] individually separate and distinct

So when trying to sneak by someone or trying to not to say something embarrassing, you are discreet.
And when you have separate things going on, you have discrete variables (especially used in math)

The definitions are loosely based on the Oxford Canadian English Dictionary

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