Definition of discretion in English:


Line breaks: dis|cre¦tion
Pronunciation: /dɪˈskrɛʃ(ə)n


[mass noun]
  • 2The freedom to decide what should be done in a particular situation: local authorities should use their discretion in setting the charges honorary fellowships may be awarded at the discretion of the council
    More example sentences
    • Rules say bus drivers can use their discretion regarding dogs but they must have a valid reason for refusing.
    • He says he hopes selectors use their discretion and pick him for the event anyway.
    • However, it is entirely at the discretion of local authorities how this is applied.
    choice, option, judgement, preference, disposition, volition; pleasure, liking, wish, will, inclination, desire


discretion is the better part of valour

proverb It’s better to avoid a dangerous situation than to confront it.
More example sentences
  • There are times when discretion is the better part of valour, of course.
  • ‘There's a point at which discretion is the better part of valour with respect to legal disputes,’ he said.
  • My co-worker came from this area, however, and discretion is the better part of valour.


Middle English (in the sense 'discernment'): via Old French from Latin discretio(n-) 'separation' (in late Latin 'discernment'), from discernere (see discern).

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Word of the day skosh
Pronunciation: skəʊʃ
a small amount; a little