Discreet to mean like "tactful" or "euphemistic"?

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Unflinching
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Discreet to mean like "tactful" or "euphemistic"?

Post by Unflinching » Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:00 am

1. Could the word "discreet" be used to mean like "tactful" or "euphemistic"?

Example: Try to say no in a discreet way (i.e. say no in a careful and euphemistic way so as not to upset/offend someone even if you are rejecting them)
Say: Sorry I'm very busy recently. I'm afraid I couldn't help you.
Don't say: No, I won't help you.

Could I use discreet in this case? Discreet seems to mean more than just tactful/euphemistic to me. I searched on the Internet and couldn't find an example which is used to mean that.

I simply say no in a polite and euphemistic way. I didn't say no in a way which is not easily noticed. I wonder if it has to carry the meaning of tactful but in a way of keeping a low profile or keeping secret. You shouldn't use "discreet" if you are tactful in other ways.


2. It is not discreet of you to ask a female how much she weigh. (i.e. it is rude to ask a female directly how much she weigh)

Could I use discreet in this case?


3. It would be more discreet if you don't come to the party. (i.e. your coming will lead to embarrassing situation. It is a smart and careful move not to show up in order to avoid such embarrassment)

Could I use discreet in this case?

Thank you very much. {-:
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Joe
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Re: Discreet to mean like "tactful" or "euphemistic"?

Post by Joe » Mon Aug 27, 2018 5:32 pm

1. Try to say no in a discreet way. :?: :?: :?: not sure, "tactful" might be better here

2. It is not discreet of you to ask a female how much she weighs. :ok: good
2. It is indiscreet of you to ask a female how much she weighs. :ok: :ok:

3. It would be more discreet if you don't come to the party. :ok: good
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Unflinching
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Re: Discreet to mean like "tactful" or "euphemistic"?

Post by Unflinching » Mon Aug 27, 2018 9:05 pm

Thank you for your reply and the correction.

It is good to hear it is fine to use it in the second and the third cases.

Have been talking to some native speakers, they find it weird to use discreet in the second and third cases. Some find it weird to use in all three cases. Perhaps this usage is uncommon?

Dictionaries do suggest I could use it in this sense though.

For example, Collins dictionary
discreet
adjective
1. If you are discreet, you are polite and careful in what you do or say, because you want to avoid embarrassing or offending someone.

Do you think this usage is common? Is it a usage used by one type of English but not others?
I never retreat. I never fall back.

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