What does discipline mean?

Definitions for discipline
ˈdɪs ə plɪndis·ci·pline

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word discipline.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. discipline, subject, subject area, subject field, field, field of study, study, bailiwicknoun

    a branch of knowledge

    "in what discipline is his doctorate?"; "teachers should be well trained in their subject"; "anthropology is the study of human beings"

  2. disciplinenoun

    a system of rules of conduct or method of practice

    "he quickly learned the discipline of prison routine"; "for such a plan to work requires discipline";

  3. disciplinenoun

    the trait of being well behaved

    "he insisted on discipline among the troops"

  4. disciplinenoun

    training to improve strength or self-control

  5. discipline, correctionverb

    the act of punishing

    "the offenders deserved the harsh discipline they received"

  6. discipline, train, check, conditionverb

    develop (children's) behavior by instruction and practice; especially to teach self-control

    "Parents must discipline their children"; "Is this dog trained?"

  7. discipline, correct, sort outverb

    punish in order to gain control or enforce obedience

    "The teacher disciplined the pupils rather frequently"


  1. disciplinenoun

    A controlled behaviour; self-control

  2. disciplinenoun

    An enforced compliance or control

  3. disciplinenoun

    A systematic method of obtaining obedience

  4. disciplinenoun

    A state of order based on submission to authority

  5. disciplinenoun

    A punishment to train or maintain control

  6. disciplinenoun

    A set of rules regulating behaviour

  7. disciplinenoun

    A flagellation as a means of obtaining sexual gratification

  8. disciplinenoun

    A specific branch of knowledge or learning

  9. disciplinenoun

    A category in which a certain art, sport or other activity belongs, or a sub-category of said activity.

  10. disciplineverb

    To train someone by instruction and practice.

  11. disciplineverb

    To teach someone to obey authority.

  12. disciplineverb

    To punish someone in order to (re)gain control.

  13. disciplineverb

    To impose order on someone.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary


    Etymology: disciplina, Latin.

    The cold of the northern parts is that which, without aid of discipline, doth make the bodies hardest, and the courage warmest. Francis Bacon, Essay 59.

    They who want that sense of discipline, hearing, are also by consequence deprived of speech. William Holder, Elements of Speech.

    It must be confessed, it is by the assistance of the eye and the ear especially, which are called the senses of discipline, that our minds are furnished with various parts of knowledge. Isaac Watts.

    They hold, that from the very apostles time ’till this present age, wherein yourselves imagine ye have found out a right pattern of sound discipline, there never was any time safe to be followed. Richard Hooker, Preface.

    As we are to believe for ever the articles of evangelical doctrine, so the precepts of discipline we are, in like sort, bound for ever to observe. Richard Hooker, b. iii. s. 10.

    While we do admire
    This virtue and this moral discipline,
    Let’s be no stoicks. William Shakespeare.

    This opens all your victories in Scotland,
    Your discipline in war, wisdom in peace. William Shakespeare, Rich. III.

    The most perfect among us, who have their passions in the best discipline, are yet obliged to be constantly on their guard. John Rogers, Sermon 13.

    Art may be said to overcome and advance nature in these mechanical disciplines, which, in this respect, are much to be preferred. John Wilkins, Math. Magick.

    A lively cobler kicked and spurred while his wife was carrying him, and had scarce passed a day without giving her the discipline of the strap. Joseph Addison, Spectator, №. 499.

  2. To Disciplineverb

    Etymology: from the noun.

    We are wise enough to begin when they are very young, and discipline betimes those other creatures we would make useful and good for somewhat. John Locke.

    They were with care prepared and disciplined for confirmation, which they could not arrive at, ’till they were found upon examination to have made a sufficient progress in the knowledge of Christianity. Joseph Addison, on the Christian Religion.

    They look to us, as we should judge of an army of well disciplined soldiers at a distance. William Derham, Astro-Theology.

    The law appear’d imperfect, and but giv’n
    With purpose to resign them in full time
    Up to a better covenant, disciplin’d
    From shadowy types to truth, from flesh to spirit. John Milton.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Disciplinenoun

    the treatment suited to a disciple or learner; education; development of the faculties by instruction and exercise; training, whether physical, mental, or moral

  2. Disciplinenoun

    training to act in accordance with established rules; accustoming to systematic and regular action; drill

  3. Disciplinenoun

    subjection to rule; submissiveness to order and control; habit of obedience

  4. Disciplinenoun

    severe training, corrective of faults; instruction by means of misfortune, suffering, punishment, etc

  5. Disciplinenoun

    correction; chastisement; punishment inflicted by way of correction and training

  6. Disciplinenoun

    the subject matter of instruction; a branch of knowledge

  7. Disciplinenoun

    the enforcement of methods of correction against one guilty of ecclesiastical offenses; reformatory or penal action toward a church member

  8. Disciplinenoun

    self-inflicted and voluntary corporal punishment, as penance, or otherwise; specifically, a penitential scourge

  9. Disciplinenoun

    a system of essential rules and duties; as, the Romish or Anglican discipline

  10. Disciplineverb

    to educate; to develop by instruction and exercise; to train

  11. Disciplineverb

    to accustom to regular and systematic action; to bring under control so as to act systematically; to train to act together under orders; to teach subordination to; to form a habit of obedience in; to drill

  12. Disciplineverb

    to improve by corrective and penal methods; to chastise; to correct

  13. Disciplineverb

    to inflict ecclesiastical censures and penalties upon


  1. Discipline

    Discipline is an album by the band King Crimson, released in 1981. This album was King Crimson's first album following a seven-year hiatus. Only founder Robert Fripp and later addition Bill Bruford remained from previous incarnations. The rest of the band was Adrian Belew and Tony Levin. The album resulted in a more updated 1980s new wave proto-techno sound mixed with the previous dark and heavy sounds of the 1970s.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Discipline

    dis′i-plin, n. instruction: training, or mode of life in accordance with rules: subjection to control: order: severe training: mortification: punishment: an instrument of penance or punishment.—v.t. to subject to discipline: to train: to educate: to bring under control: to chastise.—adjs. Dis′ciplinable; Dis′ciplinal.—ns. Dis′ciplinant, one who subjects himself to a certain discipline, esp. one of an order of Spanish flagellants; Disciplinā′rian, one who enforces strict discipline; Disciplinā′rium, a scourge for penitential flogging.—adj. Dis′ciplinary, of the nature of discipline—n. Dis′cipliner, one who disciplines.—First, and Second, Book of Discipline, two documents (1560 and 1578) embodying the constitution and order of procedure of the Church of Scotland from the period of the Reformation. [L. disciplina, from discipulus.]

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. discipline

    In military and naval affairs, is a general name for the rules and regulations prescribed and enforced for the proper conduct and subordination of the soldiers, etc. This is the technical meaning. In a higher sense discipline is the habit of obedience. The soldier acquires the habit of subordinating his own will, pleasure, and inclinations to those of his superior. When the habit has become so strong that it is second nature, the soldier is disciplined.

Editors Contribution

  1. discipline

    A form of self-control.

    Discipline is important to every human being.

    Submitted by MaryC on February 22, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. discipline

    Song lyrics by discipline -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by discipline on the Lyrics.com website.

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British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'discipline' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #1839

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'discipline' in Written Corpus Frequency: #4536

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'discipline' in Nouns Frequency: #716

How to pronounce discipline?

How to say discipline in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of discipline in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of discipline in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of discipline in a Sentence

  1. Michael Brian Schiffer:

    Anthropology is the only discipline that can access evidence about the entire human experience on this planet.

  2. James Stent:

    Tighter party discipline doubtless will provide added teeth to the financial crackdown, increasing personal accountability of financial managers.

  3. Pete Buttigieg:

    I don't think this can be resolved by targeting any individual, it can only be resolved by making sure we have a higher level of trust in the community that's borne out by consistently positive behavior and consistently fair discipline.

  4. Tom Hanks:

    I am calling you' chosen ones' because you have been chosen in many ways, first, by the temperament and discipline you've lived by, by the creative fires that are inside of you and the instinctive lunges of your desires... You succeeded because of the aid and the love of others that are in your lives, without a doubt. But you have succeeded mostly because you, and you alone, chose to do so.

  5. Henry Miller:

    Life has no other discipline to impose, if we would but realize it, than to accept life unquestioningly. Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate or despise, serves to defeat us in the end. What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy and strength, if faced with an open mind. Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for discipline

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • نظام, تهذيب, الأنضباط, فرع (من فروع المعرفة)Arabic
  • тәртип, фәнBashkir
  • възпитавам, дисциплина, наказание, дисциплинирамBulgarian
  • disciplína, obor, kázeňCzech
  • disziplinieren, Bestrafung, Strafe, DisziplinGerman
  • disĉiploEsperanto
  • disciplina, castigo, ramoSpanish
  • رشته, انPersian
  • piiskaus, kuritus, kurinpito, itsekuri, oppiaine, kuri, järjestyssäännötFinnish
  • discipline, branche, pénalitéFrench
  • disciplín, smacht, araíonachtIrish
  • משמעתHebrew
  • अनुHindi
  • գիտակարգArmenian
  • 規律Japanese
  • disciplinamLatin
  • akoranga, whakaraupapaMāori
  • temmen, ([[zelf]])[[beheersing]], tuchtiging, drillen, disciplineren, branche, tuchtstraf, tak, tuchtigen, disciplineDutch
  • modalidade, disciplinaPortuguese
  • disciplinăRomanian
  • упражнять, тренировать, дисциплинированность, подвергать взысканию, дисциплинировать, дисциплина, наказание, предмет, наказыватьRussian
  • disciplinSwedish
  • bilim dalı, ceza, disiplinTurkish
  • kỷ luậtVietnamese
  • 學科Chinese

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"discipline." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 6 Jun 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/discipline>.

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  • Loraine Anderson
    Loraine Anderson
    LikeReply5 years ago

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cause to be embarrassed; cause to feel self-conscious
  • A. abash
  • B. abhor
  • C. embellish
  • D. elate

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