There is a significant difference between discrete and discreet. Discrete means separate, like the individual frames that make up a movie. Discreet means unobtrusive, blending in and not standing out; it is sometimes used to mean secretive but that is not quite accurate. A discreet person is one who does not reveal too much about themselves or other people: they can be trusted with your secrets.
- A ‘motion’ picture is not really moving at all: it is a series of discrete still images that are moved so quickly that the human eye does not pick up the gaps between them.
- The discreet entrance to the nightclub gave no hint of the colour and movement inside.
If you find it hard to remember which one is which, I have a handy hint for you. Discrete, meaning separate, ends in –te, as does separate. Discreet, which kinda, sorta means secret, ends in –et, like secret!
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