Meaning of DISCIPLINE in English


I. dis ‧ ci ‧ pline 1 S3 W3 /ˈdɪsəplən, ˈdɪsɪplən/ BrE AmE noun

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ disciplinarian , ↑ discipline ; adjective : ↑ disciplinary , ↑ disciplined ≠ UNDISCIPLINED ; verb : ↑ discipline ]

[ Date: 1200-1300 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: descepline , from Latin disciplina 'teaching, learning' , from discipulus ; ⇨ ↑ disciple ]

1 . [uncountable] a way of training someone so that they learn to control their behaviour and obey rules:

The book gives parents advice on discipline.

serious discipline problems in the police force

2 . [uncountable] the ability to control your own behaviour, so that you do what you are expected to do:

Working from home requires a good deal of discipline.

⇨ ↑ self-discipline

3 . [uncountable and countable] a way of training your mind or learning to control your behaviour:

Martial arts teach respect, discipline, and cooperation.

discipline for

Learning poetry is a good discipline for the memory.

4 . [countable] an area of knowledge or teaching, especially one such as history, chemistry, mathematics etc that is studied at a university

• • •


■ ADJECTIVES/NOUN + discipline

▪ good/strong/firm discipline (=clear rules that people understand and must obey)

Without good discipline in a school, the standard of teaching suffers.

▪ strict discipline (=very firm and not always reasonable or kind)

Some parents complained about the school's strict discipline.

▪ poor discipline (=not enough clear and firm rules)

Problems tend to arise in families where there is poor discipline.

▪ school discipline

a government report into how to improve school discipline

▪ military discipline (=the kind of strict discipline imposed in the army)

I hated the army and the routine of military discipline.

■ verbs

▪ keep discipline ( also maintain discipline formal ) (=make people obey the rules)

A good teacher knows how to maintain discipline.

▪ enforce discipline (=make people obey the rules, especially by using punishment)

It is entirely for your own good that we enforce discipline.

■ phrases

▪ a lack of discipline

The principal never tolerated a lack of discipline.

▪ a breach of discipline formal (=an act of not obeying the rules)

Being absent without permission was a breach of discipline.

■ discipline + NOUN

▪ a discipline problem (=a problem with the students' behaviour in a school)

Successful schools have fewer discipline problems.

II. discipline 2 BrE AmE verb [transitive]

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ disciplinarian , ↑ discipline ; adjective : ↑ disciplinary , ↑ disciplined ≠ UNDISCIPLINED ; verb : ↑ discipline ]

1 . to punish someone in order to keep order and control:

The officers were later disciplined.

2 . to teach someone to obey rules and control their behaviour:

Different cultures have different ways of disciplining their children.

3 . discipline yourself (to do something) to control the way you work, how regularly you do something etc, because you know it is good for you:

Try to discipline yourself to write every day.

• • •


▪ punish to do something unpleasant to someone because they have done something wrong or broken the law:

Drug smugglers are severely punished.


She wanted to punish him for deceiving her.

▪ fine to make someone pay money as a punishment:

The company was fined for safety violations.

▪ sentence if a judge sentences a criminal, he or she gives them an official punishment, usually sending them to prison for a period of time:

The judge sentenced Margolis to a year in prison.

▪ penalize ( also penalise British English ) to officially punish someone, especially by taking away their right to do something or by limiting their freedom in some way:

New laws will penalize firms that continue to pollute the environment.

▪ discipline to punish someone who has broken the rules of an organization that they belong to or work for:

Officers are expected to discipline soldiers who do not keep their uniforms in good condition.

▪ come down hard on somebody informal to punish someone or criticize them severely:

The judge came down hard on Harris, saying that his crime was ‘inexcusable’.

▪ make an example of somebody to punish someone so that other people are afraid to do the same thing:

Athletics officials felt they had to make an example of him for using banned drugs.

▪ teach somebody a lesson informal to do something in order to show someone that they must not do something again, when they have behaved very badly:

I didn't want to hurt him - I just wanted teach him a lesson.


Maybe a night in jail will teach him a lesson.

▪ make somebody pay (for something) informal to make someone wish they had never done something, by making them suffer:

We should make him pay for all the mischief he's caused!

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.