Meaning of discreetly in English:


Pronunciation /dɪˈskriːtli/

See synonyms for discreetly on

Translate discreetly into Spanish


  • 1In a careful and prudent manner, especially in order to keep something confidential or to avoid embarrassment.

    ‘he discreetly inquired whether the position was still available’
    • ‘Recently I read a sweet how-to article about breast-feeding discreetly in public.’
    • ‘Instead any price cuts are likely to be agreed discreetly with customers.’
    • ‘Gift-giving in courtship traditionally was handled discreetly, with men offering women small gifts on special occasions.’
    • ‘The first contacts often are made discreetly by women in order to avoid a public refusal.’
    • ‘She was even nice enough to pretend not to mind when I tried discreetly to point out the clinical signs.’
    • ‘Scales should be located in a private area, and comments about weight should be minimized and made discreetly.’
    • ‘Similar to the checked baggage system, for each ticket holder a security officer would discreetly turn on or off the X-ray scanner.’
    • ‘It would also be a good idea to discreetly determine just how widespread support for your superior actually is.’
    • ‘In her hilltop home in Austria, she lives in the aftermath of a stroke, in what the film discreetly calls "a different level of reality".’
    • ‘It was common for the land managers to discreetly inquire around the neighborhood to discover if the potential buyer was honorable.’
    1. 1.1In an intentionally unobtrusive manner.
      ‘she coughed discreetly’
      • ‘While Claire is freshening up, Alan could discreetly check his e-mail, as all the rooms have plug-in facilities for laptops.’
      • ‘The western half of the site includes discreetly placed parking and a landscaped area planted with olive trees.’
      • ‘Additional space heating is discreetly provided by portable gas units, and gas also powers the cookers and hot water boiler.’
      • ‘This is a spacious and tastefully decorated town residence, discreetly tucked away off one of Dublin's most convenient roads.’
      • ‘First, spend the money to have trained security monitors discreetly patrolling multiplex auditoriums.’
      • ‘Drained like a conventional bath, it is filled from taps discreetly mounted beside the raised marble floor.’
      • ‘The Professor had come over and whispered discreetly that he'd like to see me in his office once I was done for the day.’
      • ‘The concierge's eyes searched the crowd for any witnesses before snatching the gold up and discreetly pocketing it.’
      • ‘He discreetly checked his height against that of his potential female costar.’
      • ‘Documentary footage shows him shaking hands with Hitler, and then very discreetly wiping his hand with his handkerchief.’


The words discretely and discreetly are pronounced in the same way and share the same origin but they do not mean the same thing. Discretely means ‘separately and individually’, as in they are counted then discretely marked, while discreetly means ‘in a careful and prudent manner’, as in he wanted the affair handled discreetly