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Word comparisons

Note 112 – Discreet and discrete

There is a distinct (discrete) difference between the words discreet and discrete although (according to the Daily Writing Tips website “both discreet and discrete derive from the same Latin word discretus” which means separated or distinct. 


The Pocket Writer’s Handbook by Martin Mander & Stephen Curtis defines discreet as:

  • Careful
  • Unlikely to attract attention

Examples in sentences:

  • Please try to be discreet; she’s sitting at the next table
  • She discreetly put the letter in the bin


The Pocket Writer’s Handbook by Martin Mander & Stephen Curtis defines discrete as:

  • Separate
  • Individually distinct

Examples in sentences:

  • She wrapped each present discretely.
  • The town house was converted into three discrete apartments 

My thoughts: I’ve used the word ‘discreet’ in my writing before, but I don’t think I’ve ever used ‘discrete’, so I feel like I’ve expanded my vocabulary today.

I hope you enjoyed today’s blog. Don’t forget that you can subscribe to receive my daily blogs by email so that you don’t miss any. Just click ‘sign me up’ on the home page. Alternatively you can follow my blogs on Twitter @madeirasandra or Facebook (from today).

Until tomorrow…


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Reference list:

The Pocket Writer’s Handbook by Martin Mander & Stephen Curtis (Penguin Reference Library)

Daily Writing Tips website


About Sandra Madeira

I am a full-time working mum with a passion for writing and inspiring others. Subjects I tend to blog about are life skills, parenting, decluttering, worklife balance, etc. At the moment I am on a decluttering mission creating space in my house, garden and mind. I have challenged myself to do at least ten minutes a day and write about it. Have a good day! Sandra Freelance Writer


2 thoughts on “Note 112 – Discreet and discrete

  1. I feel smarter just for reading this. I had no idea there was a second discreet…. hmmmm. LOL

    Posted by nkeda14 | August 20, 2011, 10:19 pm

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