Meaning Definition of DISCREET

DISCREET Adjective

Discreet operates as an adjective, suggesting the quality of being careful, cautious, or intentionally subtle in behavior or communication. Whether applied to actions, words, or individuals, it implies a sense of prudence and tactfulness in navigating social situations or handling sensitive information.

Used as an adjective, discreet describes individuals, actions, or communications that are characterized by circumspection, subtlety, or carefulness. It suggests the ability to maintain confidentiality, respect privacy, or avoid drawing undue attention while addressing a situation or interacting with others.

Tactful and Subtle: Discreet individuals demonstrate tactfulness and subtlety in their behavior, speech, or actions, exercising caution to avoid causing offense or embarrassment to themselves or others. They are mindful of social cues, context, and interpersonal dynamics, adapting their behavior accordingly to navigate delicate situations gracefully.

Confidentiality and Privacy: Maintaining confidentiality and respecting privacy are hallmarks of discreet behavior. Whether entrusted with sensitive information or engaged in private conversations, discreet individuals exercise discretion and confidentiality to safeguard personal or confidential matters from unnecessary exposure or disclosure.

Professionalism and Integrity: In professional contexts, discreet conduct is essential for upholding professionalism, trust, and integrity in relationships with clients, colleagues, or stakeholders. It involves handling sensitive information discreetly, respecting professional boundaries, and maintaining confidentiality in accordance with ethical standards and legal obligations.

Cultural and Social Sensitivity: Discreet behavior reflects cultural and social sensitivity, recognizing and respecting differences in communication styles, norms, and expectations across diverse contexts. It involves navigating social interactions with sensitivity to cultural nuances, avoiding assumptions, and adapting communication strategies to foster mutual understanding and respect.

Personal Integrity: Acting discreetly reflects personal integrity, maturity, and emotional intelligence in navigating complex social or professional situations. It demonstrates self-awareness, empathy, and respect for others’ feelings and boundaries, contributing to positive relationships and effective communication.

In conclusion, discreet as an adjective embodies the quality of being careful, cautious, and intentionally subtle in behavior or communication. Whether demonstrated in personal interactions, professional engagements, or cultural contexts, discreet individuals exhibit tactfulness, confidentiality, and respect for privacy, fostering trust, integrity, and positive relationships. Embracing discreet behavior enhances social competence, professionalism, and cultural sensitivity, contributing to constructive interactions and harmonious relationships in various spheres of life.

Examples of DISCREET in a sentence

  • She handled the sensitive matter with a discreet approach to maintain confidentiality.
  • The celebrity tried to keep a discreet profile while visiting the small town.
  • He made a discreet inquiry about job opportunities without drawing attention to himself.
  • The hotel staff provided discreet service to ensure the guests’ privacy.
  • They exchanged discreet glances to communicate without being noticed.
  • The politician’s discreet meetings with lobbyists raised questions about transparency.
  • The company’s discreet investigation into the leak prevented panic among employees.
  • She wore a discreet necklace that held sentimental value to her.

Origin of DISCREET

The term “discreet” originates from the Old French “discret,” which is derived from the Latin “discretus,” the past participle of “discernere,” meaning “to separate” or “to distinguish.” Here’s the breakdown:

  • Discernere (Latin): Referring to “to separate” or “to distinguish.”
  • Discretus (Latin): Past participle of “discernere,” indicating something that has been separated or distinguished.
  • Discret (Old French): Borrowed from Latin, maintaining a similar meaning.
  • Discreet (Modern English): Evolved from Old French, retaining the sense of being careful, cautious, or prudent in one’s actions or speech, often with the implication of maintaining confidentiality or avoiding attracting attention.

Therefore, “discreet” originally described something that has been separated or distinguished, and it now primarily refers to someone who is careful, cautious, or prudent in their actions or speech, often with the intention of maintaining confidentiality or avoiding attracting attention.


  • Prudent
  • Discreet Scrutiny
  • Secretive
  • Private
  • Tactful
  • Cautious
  • Wary
  • Conservative


  • Careless
  • Incautious
  • Tactless
  • Indiscreet
  • Obtrusive
  • Conspicuous
  • Revealing
  • Blatant


  • Reserved
  • Cautious
  • Tactful
  • Subtle
  • Circumspect
  • Judicious
  • Inconsiderate
  • Unreserved

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