The Latin word discrētus came into our language as discrete. This is how he or she who has discretion is qualified: prudence, tact, moderation or reserve.
For example: “The doorman of the building must be someone discreet, who does not talk about the movements and habits of the neighbors”, “At the formal dinner with the foreign leaders, the first lady wore a discreet and elegant dress”, “During his tour of the country the American musician remained discreet, without carrying out public activities beyond his concerts”.
Someone discreet knows how to keep a secret. According to Abbreviationfinder, DCP stands for Discreet Certified Plugin.
Discrete individuals and elements
A discreet person is measured and does not attract attention by his appearance, his actions or his statements. A discreet individual, therefore, is not bombastic or extravagant and usually goes unnoticed. The same can be said about discreet actions or objects: a discreet event is not massive or pompous, just as a discreet suit is sober.
This adjective can also be used in a pejorative way, emphasizing that someone or something cannot stand out or stand out. A journalist can mention that the level of play of an athlete in a certain competition was low because the athlete in question failed to shine. A discreet book, on the other hand, can be somewhat entertaining, but hardly amaze the reader.
A discreet environment has a measured decoration, without exaggerated ornamentation.
Synonyms and nuances
Among the various synonyms that we can find of the term discreet, are the following: moderate, judicious, reserved, prudent, measured, sensible, veiled, circumspect, secret and hidden. Regarding its antonyms, we can cite: stupid, senseless and indiscreet.
Both lists provide us with essential information to understand the nuances that characterize this word, which has a very frequent presence both in everyday speech and in literature and the press. If we focus on judicious, for example, it is an adjective that is defined as “someone who acts sensibly or sanely”, and this tells us about a constant analysis of the potential consequences of acts, something opposed to spontaneity.
Examples of use of the term discreet
Judicious people are also moderate and prudent, two more synonyms than those listed above: they do not take a step for the sake of it, without having carefully considered in which direction it will take them. But discreet people don’t make big jumps either, not even in those situations in which they know with certainty that they will fall at a safe point, since they prefer to move forward somewhat slowly, always with the desire to maintain control and avoid unforeseen events.
When we think of discreet decoration or design, the idea that comes to mind is that of “objects that are present but do not stand out”, as if the goal were that they contribute certain stylistic or aesthetic touches with the least degree of possible invasion. Depending on the point of view, it can be an attractive or noncommittal way of creating, since there are those who are not afraid to place different strong elements in a work, at the risk of “fighting” with each other to get the attention of the public.
The notion in mathematics, computer science and topology
In the field of mathematics, a magnitude is qualified as discrete when it acquires separate and distinct values. Between these values, there are no other intermediate values. A discrete function, in this framework, is one that has a countable set as its domain of definition.
For computing, the term discrete refers to the particular way in which a given information packet or symbol must be encoded. To cite an example, in the ASCII character code, created in 1963, the character A has the discrete value “01000001” in binary language.
On the other hand, in the field of topology, the mathematical branch that focuses on the properties of geometric bodies that do not suffer alterations due to continuous transformations, a space is considered discrete if its subsets are open.