serious writers discipline and refine their writing styles
Did you know?
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.
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
Examples of discipline in a Sentence
NounSir 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 2007Pragmatism 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 2007So 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) 2005He 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. VerbThe 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. 2006Volunteers have to undergo a program to discipline the mind and cleanse the soul.—Aparism Ghosh, Time, 4 July 2005The 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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
One thing is clear — the church’s language of discipline has changed since 1993.—Peggy Fletcher Stack, The Salt Lake Tribune, 3 Sep. 2023 The school is handling the discipline of the two Highland Heights boy, 14 and 15.—cleveland, 12 Sep. 2023 So often, within Afro–Caribbean households, aspirations toward creative disciplines aren’t supported.—Essence, 12 Sep. 2023 These music lessons aren’t Duolingo’s first foray into a discipline other than linguistics.—Boone Ashworth, WIRED, 9 Sep. 2023 Another program, Bright Road Martial Arts, recognizes the mentorship and power of martial arts disciplines which improves lives through self-control, self-discovery and self-respect, offered to qualifying at-risk youth in partnership with leading academies and instructors.—Kirsten Chuba, The Hollywood Reporter, 7 Sep. 2023 This one plant thrived on neglect, refusing any act of horticultural discipline and doubling in size each year.—Hazlitt, 6 Sep. 2023 Miles said Stancil teaches her athletes discipline, leadership and sportsmanship.—Eric Guzmán, Detroit Free Press, 4 Sep. 2023 Once the club starts to expand and let in younger members — kids without discipline (like Toby Wallace’s character) — or junkies and veterans mixed up by their experience in Vietnam, the sense of camaraderie that defines the movie takes a turn into much darker territory.—Peter Debruge, Variety, 2 Sep. 2023
In September 1993, six Latter-day Saint scholars and activists were disciplined for their critical writings about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.—and David Noyce, The Salt Lake Tribune, 13 Sep. 2023 Well, look, firms are disciplined by two forces, right?—Gideon Lichfield, WIRED, 13 Sep. 2023 Not nearly disciplined enough, and not yet able to push around an undermanned opponent.—Nathan Baird, cleveland, 9 Sep. 2023 The gun charges have been dropped as part of an agreement with the Suffolk County district attorney’s office, though the NFL could still discipline him.—Nicole Yang, BostonGlobe.com, 9 Sep. 2023 Gordon, who has passed away, would discipline the children using extension cords and beat their mother nearly every day, leaving her face battered and bones broken.—Richard A. Webster, ProPublica, 8 Sep. 2023 Teachers targeted The death served as a tipping point for many teachers and educational staff across South Korea who have long complained about feeling unable to discipline their students for fear of retribution.—Jessie Yeung, CNN, 5 Sep. 2023 Teachers have demanded that the government provide clear guidelines on disciplining students.—John Yoon, New York Times, 5 Sep. 2023 Lawmakers voted 70-20 to discipline Rep. Justin Jones after House Speaker Cameron Sexton twice ruled Jones out of order during the House floor session Monday afternoon for what Sexton saw as Jones speaking off-topic on the bills at hand.—Melissa Brown, USA TODAY, 29 Aug. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'discipline.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
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
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"