In a dictionary, I found the word "discreet" which means: not likely to be seen or noticed by many people.

I think maybe the word discreet is formed by : "dis"+creet.
If it is so then what is the meaning of "creet"?
dis is :no such as in dislike, disagree and so on.

  • 1
    Not all words containing an affix can be produced in the modern language (or indeed, in the English of any era) via a productive process yielding a predictable meaning. When they cannot, we say the combination is lexicalized, which means that it's become a single word and needs its own dictionary entry.
    – user230
    Oct 5, 2013 at 9:27
  • @hjpotter92, Never heard of "con" being used as prefix or suffix. Can you give an example?
    – Mistu4u
    Oct 5, 2013 at 9:30
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    In this case, it's a lexical word because the affix was added to it before it was borrowed into English, so it's not possible to produce it via a productive process in English, regardless of whether or not we're talking about the modern language.
    – user230
    Oct 5, 2013 at 9:31
  • @Mistu4u Ah, I misspoke myself there...
    – hjpotter92
    Oct 5, 2013 at 9:50
  • @Mistu4u - Yes, congress – it's the opposite of progress. (That's not really true, but some might find it an aptly funny remark during a government shutdown, which is what the U.S. is experiencing as I type this.)
    – J.R.
    Oct 5, 2013 at 10:04

2 Answers 2


Creet doesn't have a meaning in English. It goes back to its Latin roots.

Discrete came from the Latin discretus.

Discretus came from the Latin discerno.

From dis- (“asunder, in pieces, apart, in two”) + cernō (“see, discern”).

Here's a list of words derived from cerno:

certain, concern, crime, criminal, decree, discern, discernible, discernment, discreet, discrete, discretion, discretionary, discriminant, discriminate, discrimination, discriminative, excrement, excreta, excrescent, excrete, excretion, excretory, indiscernible, secret, secretary, secretion, secretive, secretory


Your concept is not quite true. Not always "dis" makes an antonym of a word; "dis" can be part of a word itself. Origin of "discreet" as per Merriam-Webster is:

Middle English, from Anglo-French discret, from Medieval Latin discretus, from Latin, past participle of discernere to separate, distinguish between — more at discern First Known Use: 14th century.

There are a lot of words which does not use "dis" to make a root word antonym. you can consult a dictionary to check them.

  • 1
    Quite true: dispose, dispute, discuss, dissuade and distribute, to name a few.
    – J.R.
    Oct 5, 2013 at 10:07
  • On the other hand, a lot of these have origins wherein the "dis-" prefix was some sort of negation, and many of them persist through to the present to one degree or another. For example "suasion" is a (little-used) synonym of "persuasion", an antonym of which is "dissuasion". A question that is posed may also be disposed of. However, to discuss is not necessarily to not cuss. :)
    – BobRodes
    Oct 6, 2013 at 6:35

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