Definition of discretion
2 : ability to make responsible decisions
3a : individual choice or judgment left the decision to his discretionb : power of free decision or latitude of choice within certain legal bounds reached the age of discretion
4 : the result of separating or distinguishing
Examples of discretion in a Sentence
Though it is worth noting that to live in a place where other people come just for pleasure has the odd effect of making me feel transient, while the visitors seem more fixed and permanent in their lives, coming as they do from more conventional homes far away. It is as if I am always waiting for them and am here at their discretion. —Richard Ford, Wall Street Journal, 14-15 June 2008
In Texas “capital” murder doesn't necessarily mean a death-penalty case; it's the designation for any aggravated murder, and prosecutors have full discretion in deciding whether to seek death in such cases. —John Cloud, Time, 14 July 2003
Del Monte was a courtier, bureaucrat, diplomat and politician born and bred and he understood the need for discretion. —Peter Robb, The Man Who Became Caravaggio, (1998) 1999
Each artist in the gallery has discretion over the price that will be charged for his or her work.
The coach used his own discretion to let the injured quarterback play.
He always uses care and discretion when dealing with others.
She handled the awkward situation with great discretion.
Recent Examples of discretion from the Web
Unfortunately, the list of states that extend such reciprocity is small and dispensary owners have discretion to limit sales to state residents even where reciprocity exists.
Money in the trust can be transferred to CalPERS at Mesa Water’s discretion.
Note, from festival organizers: All selfie sticks are subject to Forecastle staff discretion and may or may not be allowed.
City prosecutor Seneca Theno expressed doubts about the measure, indicating prosecutors and police already apply discretion in prostitution cases, which are now very rare.
These items are subject to change at any time and at the discretion of the front gate and security staff.
This gives Rome more discretion in distributing the pain.
They’d be empowered to treat people—and turn people away—largely at their discretion.
Brown said a better approach might be to pass a single bill authorizing Sunday sales countywide and leaving it to the discretion of each city whether to exercise that authority.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'discretion'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
DISCRETION Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of discretion for English Language Learners
: the right to choose what should be done in a particular situation
: the quality of being careful about what you do and say so that people will not be embarrassed or offended : the quality of being discreet
DISCRETION Defined for Kids
Definition of discretion for Students
1 : care in not attracting attention or letting out private information Use discretion in dealing with the situation.
2 : the power to decide what to do I'll leave it to your discretion.
Legal Definition of discretion
: power of free decision or latitude of choice within certain bounds imposed by law reached the age of discretion struck down death penalty provisions administered through unbridled jury discretion — L. H. Tribe: as a : the power of a judge to use his or her own judgment in making decisions guided by what is fair and equitable and by principles of law — see also abuse of discretion b : the power of a public official or employee to act and make decisions based on his or her own judgment or conscience within the bounds of reason and the law
Seen and Heard
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