1. Training expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior, especially training that produces moral or mental improvement: was raised in the strictest discipline.
a. Control obtained by enforcing compliance or order: military discipline.
b. Controlled behavior resulting from disciplinary training; self-control: Dieting takes a lot of discipline.
c. A state of order based on submission to rules and authority: a teacher who demanded discipline in the classroom.
3. Punishment intended to correct or train: subjected to harsh discipline.
4. A set of rules or methods, as those regulating the practice of a church or monastic order.
5. A branch of knowledge or teaching: the discipline of mathematics.
tr.v. dis·ci·plined, dis·ci·plin·ing, dis·ci·plines
1. To train by instruction and practice, as in following rules or developing self-control: The sergeant disciplined the recruits to become soldiers. See Synonyms at teach.
2. To punish in order to gain control or enforce obedience. See Synonyms at punish.
3. To impose order on: needed to discipline their study habits.
[Middle English, from Old French descepline, from Latin disciplīna, from discipulus, pupil; see DISCIPLE.]
disci·pli·nal (-plə-nəl) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.