- 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.
- 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.
- 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 Late Latin 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 &ellipsis; 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)
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.