discreet / discrete

These words are pronounced the same, and they are both adjectives.

Discrete means separate, distinct, individual:

  • The two companies have a partnership, but they are discrete entities.
  • We offer three discrete service plans: internet only, internet + cell phone, and internet + cell phone + TV.

    Discreet describes something that is modest and does not call attention to itself:

  • The photographer at the funeral remained discreet and respectful.
  • She discreetly adjusted her bra strap, which was falling down her shoulder.

    When you describe a person as discreet, it means that person can handle sensitive topics with tact (good manners and professionalism).