- An example of discretion is the ability of a juror to determine a verdict.
- An example of discretion is not talking about politics at family dinners.
Discretion is defined as the right of someone to make choices or the quality of someone who is careful about what they do or say.
- the freedom or authority to make decisions and choices; power to judge or act
- the quality of being discreet, or careful about what one does and says; prudence
- Archaic the action or power of discerning; judgment
Origin of discretionMiddle English discrecioun from Old French discrecion from Classical Latin discretio, separation (in LL, discernment) from discretus: see discreet
at one's discretion
as one wishes
- The quality of being discreet; circumspection: “the almost unknown young man who lived in the upper room … coming and going with discretion” ( Doris Lessing )
- Freedom to act or judge on one's own: All the decisions were left to our discretion.
- 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 )
(usually uncountable, plural discretions)
OriginSee also: discrétion
From Old French discrecion, from Late Latin discretio
discretion - Legal Definition
The freedom of choice and of action of a judge, prosecutor, or other public official, within the defined scope of his or her responsibilities. For example, in a criminal matter a judge may have wide discretion to release the defendant on recognizance or to demand bail in any amount, based on the judge’s view of the defendant as a flight risk.