Definition of discipline in English:


Line breaks: dis¦cip|line
Pronunciation: /ˈdɪsɪplɪn


  • 1 [mass noun] The practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behaviour, using punishment to correct disobedience: a lack of proper parental and school discipline
    More example sentences
    • This legal code dealt with military discipline, criminal law and societal customs and regulation.
    • In 1923 parliament began to revise the code of military discipline.
    • Although the rhetoric of the military is all about discipline, the daily practice of the troops is a cut throat entrepreneurialism.
  • 1.1The controlled behaviour resulting from such training: he was able to maintain discipline among his men
    More example sentences
    • Here, the battle commanders had been able to maintain a semblance of discipline and control.
    • Traditionalists see crime and poverty as largely the result of a breakdown in social discipline or self control.
    • Fasting is all about self control and discipline.
    self-control, self-discipline, self-government, control, controlled behaviour, self-restraint; good behaviour, orderliness, obedience
  • 1.2Activity that provides mental or physical training: the tariqa offered spiritual discipline [count noun]: Kung fu is a discipline open to old and young
    More example sentences
    • Shinto reinforced already strongly-established national notions of spiritual discipline and physical fitness.
    • Yoga as a means to mental and physical discipline and well being is also taught.
    • The government has also arrested thousands of practitioners of a spiritual discipline that primarily involves physical exercise and meditation.
  • 1.3 [count noun] A system of rules of conduct: he doesn’t have to submit to normal disciplines
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    • It will be negotiated in conformity with the rules and disciplines of the World Trade Organisation.
    • It blurs the division between foreign and domestic policy, increases competitive pressures in markets, and makes globally-based trade rules and disciplines even more important.
    • Nevertheless, morality is intelligible only as a social discipline based on general rules impartially applied.
  • 2A branch of knowledge, typically one studied in higher education: sociology is a fairly new discipline
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    • Medicine and law were the first disciplines to professionalize their knowledge.
    • Not for nothing are the branches of science called disciplines.
    • This environment fostered new regional journals and a growing range of specialist journals catering to the interests of historians working in the branches of the discipline.
    field (of study), branch of knowledge, course of study, subject, area; specialist subject, speciality, specialty


[with object] Back to top  
  • 1Train (someone) to obey rules or a code of behaviour, using punishment to correct disobedience: many parents have been afraid to discipline their children
    More example sentences
    • Spanking is not just a right parents have when dealing with their children; nor is it just a necessary tool for training and disciplining children.
    • Equally, while a parent cannot be made to love his child, he can be limited by the law in how far he can use physical punishment to discipline his child.
    • One thing disciplining a child has taught me is that you need to keep iron control over your temper and watch what you do - because your child is watching and taking cues from your behavior.
    train, drill, teach, school, coach, educate, regiment, indoctrinate; lay down the law to someone, bring into line
  • 1.1Punish or rebuke formally for an offence: a member of staff was to be disciplined by management
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    • The deputies were later disciplined for offences that included not stopping the beating and not writing up a report about it.
    • I'm not saying that the analysts don't deserve to be disciplined or punished.
    • To help enforce these new restrictions, the programme-makers have also introduced a formal disciplining mechanism.
    punish, penalize, take disciplinary action against, bring to book; reprimand, rebuke, reprove, chastise, castigate, upbraid, remonstrate with
    informal dress down, give someone a dressing-down, rap over the knuckles, give someone a roasting, give someone a rocket, put on the mat
    British informal carpet, put on the carpet
    archaic chasten
  • 1.2 (discipline oneself to do something) Train oneself to do something in a controlled and habitual way: every month discipline yourself to go through the file
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    • Thirdly, we have to discipline ourselves to begin to train.
    • Developing a financial plan means taking control of what you have now and disciplining yourself to manage your money to reach those goals you have set for yourself and your family.
    • As a jockey I disciplined myself to put money aside to pay my tax bills, which were for tens of thousands of pounds.



More example sentences
  • But perhaps you may determine the offence properly disciplinable, and not demanding forbearance.
  • A lawyer should not be placed in the position where compliance under one rule constitutes disciplinable misconduct under another rule.
  • For this reason, it is advisable to fire with cause whenever possible, and to document poor performance or disciplinable offences as they occur.


Pronunciation: /ˌdɪsɪˈplʌɪn(ə)l, ˈdɪsɪˌplɪn(ə)l/
More example sentences
  • As already stated, however, disciplinal perspective is not the only sort of perspective possible or needed.
  • Research activities are deemed reflective of the level of disciplinal specialization attained by the individual and the entire academic faculty.
  • This is pointless; you irritate other users and risk disciplinal measures.


Middle English (in the sense 'mortification by scourging oneself'): via Old French from Latin disciplina 'instruction, knowledge', from discipulus (see disciple).

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