discipline

noun
dis·​ci·​pline | \ ˈdi-sə-plən How to pronounce discipline (audio) \

Definition of discipline

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : control gained by enforcing obedience or order
b : orderly or prescribed conduct or pattern of behavior
3 : training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character
4 : a field of study
5 : a rule or system of rules governing conduct or activity
6 obsolete : instruction

discipline

verb
disciplined; disciplining

Definition of discipline (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to punish or penalize for the sake of enforcing obedience and perfecting moral character
2 : to train or develop by instruction and exercise especially in self-control
3a : to bring (a group) under control discipline troops
b : to impose order upon serious writers discipline and refine their writing styles

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Other Words from discipline

Noun

disciplinal \ ˈdi-​sə-​plə-​nᵊl How to pronounce discipline (audio) \ adjective

Verb

discipliner noun

Choose the Right Synonym for discipline

Verb

punish, chastise, castigate, chasten, discipline, correct mean to inflict a penalty on in requital for wrongdoing. punish implies subjecting to a penalty for wrongdoing. punished for stealing chastise may apply to either the infliction of corporal punishment or to verbal censure or denunciation. chastised his son for neglecting his studies castigate usually implies a severe, typically public censure. an editorial castigating the entire city council chasten suggests any affliction or trial that leaves one humbled or subdued. chastened by a landslide election defeat discipline implies a punishing or chastening in order to bring under control. parents must discipline their children correct implies punishing aimed at reforming an offender. the function of prison is to correct the wrongdoer

teach, instruct, educate, train, discipline, school mean to cause to acquire knowledge or skill. teach applies to any manner of imparting information or skill so that others may learn. taught us a lot about our planet instruct suggests methodical or formal teaching. instructs raw recruits in military drill educate implies development of the mind. more things than formal schooling serve to educate a person train stresses instruction and drill with a specific end in view. trained foreign pilots to operate the new aircraft discipline implies training in habits of order and precision. a disciplined mind school implies training or disciplining especially in what is hard to master. schooled the horse in five gaits

The Root and Meanings of Discipline

Discipline comes from discipulus, the Latin word for pupil, which also provided the source of the word disciple (albeit by way of a Late Latin sense-shift to “a follower of Jesus Christ in his lifetime”). Given that several meanings of discipline deal with study, governing one’s behavior, and instruction, one might assume that the word’s first meaning in English had to do with education. In fact, the earliest known use of discipline appears to be punishment-related; it first was used in the 13th century to refer to chastisement of a religious nature, such as self-flagellation.

Examples of discipline in a Sentence

Noun Sir Robert Peel is credited with creating the first modern police force, the bobbies, in London, in 1829, but the transformation of law enforcement, and especially forensic science, into a professional discipline was a haphazard affair. — Jeffrey Toobin, New Yorker, 7 May 2007 Pragmatism became America's most important contribution to the life of the mind in the 20th century. Filtered through scores of later interpreters, it percolated across a broad segment of academic culture and influenced disciplines as diverse as literary criticism and legal theory. — Theo Anderson, Wilson Quarterly, Summer 2007 So the next fall I went to Hampshire College and began studying under Herbert Bernstein. Without him, I would never have become a scientist. He shamed me into doing the hard work necessary to be able not just to talk about math and physics but to calculate. Without that discipline, my story would have been very different … — Lee Smolin, Curious Minds, (2004) 2005 He stood erect, his bearing patrician, his dress impeccable. His face was stern and his pale eyes unsmiling behind his trifocals, like a man who had been called from important duties in the principal's office to administer discipline to an unruly classroom. — Nick Taylor, Laser, 2000 The teacher has a hard time maintaining discipline in the classroom. The troops were praised for their dedication and discipline. Some parents feel that the school's principal has been too harsh in meting out discipline. Keeping a journal is a good discipline for a writer. Verb The Army disciplined seven men for the incident, penalties ranging from pay-cuts and loss of rank to dismissal from the Rangers and return to the rank-and-file Army. — Gary Smith, Sports Illustrated, 11 Sept. 2006 Volunteers have to undergo a program to discipline the mind and cleanse the soul. — Aparism Ghosh, Time, 4 July 2005 The teacher then took me to the principal's office. There, the principal attempted to discipline me with an old Catholic school technique called "paddling" … — Lalo Gomez, Undoing Time, 2001 She was disciplined for misbehaving in class. He seems unwilling or unable to discipline his children. I'm trying to discipline myself to eat less.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun After a year of being siloed in their respective divisions on account of pandemic protocols, Penguin members said that students from every discipline and year have found community and solidarity in the protests. Jennifer Gersten, Rolling Stone, 11 June 2021 But the scholarship money comes with strings, part of a culture of strict discipline and penalties for misbehavior. Bob Fernandez, ProPublica, 10 June 2021 Using your data to uncover information makes leaders more insightful, and cross-discipline and cross-department deep-dive data analysis techniques are essential to close the gap between customer expectations and customer experience. Ellevate, Forbes, 8 June 2021 The International Association of Chiefs of Police recommends that departments adopt zero-tolerance standards for employees and policies that make clear that abuse of authority is grounds for discipline. BostonGlobe.com, 27 May 2021 Kris says football has earned him his closest friends, and taught him discipline and how to work with others. Allie Yang, ABC News, 12 May 2021 The issue later became part of the city’s consent decree with the Justice Department, a wide-ranging court order that went into effect two years ago to force reforms to training, discipline and supervision in the troubled department. Clarence Page, chicagotribune.com, 4 May 2021 The stereotypical Peterson fan, it’s probably fair to say, is a young white male whose life lacked structure and discipline but heard Mr. Peterson’s lectures and began to reorder his life. Barton Swaim, WSJ, 30 Apr. 2021 Portfolio management requires discipline and the foresight to plan your decisions well in advance, regardless of which way the markets go. Ben Carlson, Fortune, 29 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The school district argues that the court's 1969 decision Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District gives it wide latitude to discipline students enrolled in the district. Nicholas Rowan, Washington Examiner, 26 Apr. 2021 Healy said schools must be able to discipline students for inappropriate conduct online if they would clearly be disciplined for the same conduct offline. Devin Dwyer, ABC News, 2 Apr. 2021 Also contributing to O’Brien’s firing was his resistance to Tuite’s separate orders to discipline Rasmussen, the compliance director who resigned from San Jose State in December. Kenny Jacoby And Rachel Axon, USA TODAY, 3 Mar. 2021 The killing of Bonita Carter seemed to be the last straw, especially when the mayor, a progressive named David Vann who had helped push Connor out in the ’60s, hesitated to discipline the police officer who shot her. John Hammontree | Jhammontree@al.com, al, 16 Nov. 2020 The city often seeks to discipline officers in the absence of criminal charges, and Sherry was repeatedly named as a defendant with other officers in lawsuits linked to the SOS scandal. Jeremy Gorner, chicagotribune.com, 14 May 2021 Georgia schools had resisted such a plan, citing concerns about costs, the ability to discipline someone who's not a student and taking places away from other students. Jeff Amy, ajc, 6 May 2021 The Office of Lawyer Regulation looks into complaints of attorney misconduct and argues alleged violations of legal ethics before the state Supreme Court, which has the power to discipline lawyers. Daniel Bice, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 28 Apr. 2021 The agency, which has the power to discipline officers, recommended disciplinary action and changes in the Police Department’s search policies. Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle, 28 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'discipline.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of discipline

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for discipline

Noun

Middle English, "chastisement, system of ordered conduct, instruction, branch of learning," borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin disciplīna "teaching, instruction, branch of study, orderly conduct based on moral training" (Medieval Latin, "chastisement, scourging"), from discipulus "pupil, learner" + -īna, suffix denoting a place or practice (from noun derivative of feminine of -īnus -ine entry 1) — more at disciple

Verb

Middle English disciplinen "to subject to chastisement, educate," borrowed from Anglo-French & Late Latin; Anglo-French discipliner, borrowed from Late Latin disciplīnāre "to teach" (Medieval Latin, "to punish, scourge"), derivative of Latin disciplīna "teaching, discipline entry 1"

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Time Traveler for discipline

Time Traveler

The first known use of discipline was in the 13th century

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Statistics for discipline

Last Updated

15 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Discipline.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discipline. Accessed 16 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for discipline

discipline

noun

English Language Learners Definition of discipline

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: control that is gained by requiring that rules or orders be obeyed and punishing bad behavior
: a way of behaving that shows a willingness to obey rules or orders
: behavior that is judged by how well it follows a set of rules or orders

discipline

verb

English Language Learners Definition of discipline (Entry 2 of 2)

: to punish (someone) as a way of making sure that rules or orders are obeyed
: to train (yourself) to do something by controlling your behavior

discipline

noun
dis·​ci·​pline | \ ˈdi-sə-plən How to pronounce discipline (audio) \

Kids Definition of discipline

 (Entry 1 of 2)

2 : strict training that corrects or strengthens "Boys need discipline," he said.
3 : habits and ways of acting that are gotten through practice At this point in the act the penguins always forgot their discipline— Richard and Florence Atwater, Mr. Popper's Penguins
4 : control that is gained by insisting that rules be followed The teacher tried to maintain discipline.

discipline

verb
disciplined; disciplining

Kids Definition of discipline (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to punish as a way to bring about good behavior The principal disciplined the troublemakers.
2 : to train in self-control or obedience The diet disciplines overeaters.
3 : to bring under control discipline troops

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