1. The quality of being discreet; circumspection: "the almost unknown young man who lived in the upper room ... coming and going with discretion" (Doris Lessing).
2. Freedom to act or judge on one's own: All the decisions were left to our discretion.
3. Archaic The ability or power to discern what is responsible or socially appropriate: "She had even condescended to advise him to marry as soon as he could, provided he chose with discretion" (Jane Austen).
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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