1. apart or detached from others; separate; distinct: six discrete parts.
  2. consisting of or characterized by distinct or individual parts; discontinuous.
  3. Mathematics.
    1. (of a topology or topological space) having the property that every subset is an open set.
    2. defined only for an isolated set of points: a discrete variable.
    3. using only arithmetic and algebra; not involving calculus: discrete methods.


  1. separate or distinct in form or concept
  2. consisting of distinct or separate parts
  3. statistics
    1. (of a variable) having consecutive values that are not infinitesimally close, so that its analysis requires summation rather than integration
    2. (of a distribution) relating to a discrete variableCompare continuous (def. 4)

late 14c., see discreet. Related: Discretely.


  1. Not joined to or incorporated with another; separate; distinct.

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