Definition of discipline in English:

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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
More example sentences
  • 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
More example sentences
  • 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]
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
More example sentences
  • 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;
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
More example sentences
  • 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.



Pronunciation: /ˌdɪsɪˈplɪnəb(ə)l/
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/
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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