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Definition of discipline

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dis·ci·pline  audio  (ds-pln) KEY 

  1. Training expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior, especially training that produces moral or mental improvement.
  2. Controlled behavior resulting from disciplinary training; self-control.
    1. Control obtained by enforcing compliance or order.
    2. A systematic method to obtain obedience: a military discipline.
    3. 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.
  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.
dis·ci·plined, dis·ci·plin·ing, dis·ci·plines
  1. To train by instruction and practice, especially to teach self-control to.
  2. To teach to obey rules or accept authority. See Synonyms at teach.
  3. To punish in order to gain control or enforce obedience. See Synonyms at punish.
  4. To impose order on: needed to discipline their study habits.

Middle English, from Old French descepline, from Latin disciplna, from discipulus, pupil ; see disciple

disci·pli·nal  (-pl-nl) KEY (Adjective), disci·pliner(Noun)

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