discrete

adjective
dis·​crete | \ dis-ˈkrēt How to pronounce discrete (audio) , ˈdis-ˌ\

Definition of discrete

1 : constituting a separate entity : individually distinct several discrete sections
2a : consisting of distinct or unconnected elements : noncontinuous
b : taking on or having a finite or countably infinite number of values discrete probabilities a discrete random variable

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Other Words from discrete

discretely adverb
discreteness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for discrete

distinct, separate, discrete mean not being each and every one the same. distinct indicates that something is distinguished by the mind or eye as being apart or different from others. two distinct versions separate often stresses lack of connection or a difference in identity between two things. separate rooms discrete strongly emphasizes individuality and lack of connection. broke the job down into discrete stages

Examples of discrete in a Sentence

The idea is to disconnect the memory from the reactions to the memory, so that although the memory of the traumatic event remains, the everyday things that can trigger fear and panic, such as trash blowing across the interstate or a car backfiring … are restored to insignificance. The trauma thus becomes a discrete event, not a constant, self-replicating, encompassing condition. — Sue Halpern, New Yorker, 19 May 2008 Eliminating stress entirely is not an option. If there are discrete sources of stress in your life—a relationship, a job, a health problem—you can and should take action to try to mitigate them. But my experience is that we all are subject to a kind of conservation law of stress. If stress recedes in one area, it seems to increase in another. Time, 17 Oct. 2005 The newer, digital phones broadcast their communications in discrete bursts of energy, whereas analog devices employ continuous signals. — Janet Raloff, Science News, 12 Feb. 2000 several discrete sections to this vast medical complex, including a college of pharmacology and a research center
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Recent Examples on the Web

Meghan had been planning to visit Number 7 since the fall of 2018, after conversations with Field about the center and its plans to provide mothers with discrete and accessible baby checkups had impressed the duchess. Omid Scobie, Harper's BAZAAR, "Duchess Meghan Reveals Baby Secrets as She Brings Magic Touch to Royal Day Out," 14 Jan. 2019 But alternate solutions, championed among others by China’s SZ DJI Technology Co., the largest drone supplier globally, envision relying on discrete and potentially proprietary identification systems dedicated to certain types of unmanned vehicles. Andy Pasztor, WSJ, "Alphabet Unit Tests New System to Identify Airborne Drones," 13 Jan. 2019 Meet the Radeon VII Moving onto discrete graphics, Su then called out the Radeon RX 590, which PCWorld recently crowned the new 1080p gaming champion. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "AMD announces 3rd-gen Ryzen and Radeon VII, beating Intel and Nvidia to 7nm," 9 Jan. 2019 The new Razer Blade Stealth comes in three configurations at $1,399, $1,599, and $1,899, and the top two add discrete graphics (NVIDIA GeForce MX150 with 4GB of GDDR5 memory). Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "The Razer Blade Stealth gets an overhaul with a 4K display and better graphics," 4 Dec. 2018 By Jerome Charyn Liveright, 283 pages, $26.95 As befitting a latter-day Sinbad, Roosevelt doesn’t relate his story as a continuous narrative but in a series of discrete episodes. Gerard Helferich, WSJ, "‘The Perilous Adventures of the Cowboy King’ Review: A Rough Road to Power," 25 Jan. 2019 The one thing that apparently hasn’t changed about Intel’s plans is its intent to introduce a discrete graphics processor by 2020. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "Intel unveils Foveros 3D chip stacking and new 10nm ‘chiplets’," 12 Dec. 2018 Elowan shows us that discrete biological systems can engage in dialogue with artificial machines. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "The Leafy Green Cyborgs Are Coming," 6 Dec. 2018 Two discrete bureaucracies would need to be merged into one. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "HQ2 is a perfect opportunity to massively upgrade the DC area’s commuter rail," 17 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'discrete.' 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 discrete

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for discrete

Middle English discrete, discret, discreet — more at discreet

Note: The adjective discrete is etymologically identical with discreet, of which it was originally a simple spelling variant. The consistent discrimination of the two senses by spelling, with discrete corresponding more closely to classical Latin in both form and meaning, dates from the 18th century.

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Statistics for discrete

Last Updated

28 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for discrete

The first known use of discrete was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for discrete

discrete

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of discrete

formal : separate and different from each other

discrete

adjective
dis·​crete | \ di-ˈskrēt How to pronounce discrete (audio) \

Kids Definition of discrete

: separate entry 2 sense 3, distinct The report is divided into discrete sections.

discrete

adjective
dis·​crete | \ dis-ˈkrēt, ˈdis-ˌ How to pronounce discrete (audio) \

Medical Definition of discrete

: characterized by distinct unconnected lesions discrete smallpox — compare confluent sense 2

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Comments on discrete

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