discipline

When you have discipline, you have self-control. When you discipline children, you are either teaching them to be well-behaved, or you are punishing and correcting them.

The origins of this word offer great clues about its current meanings. The Old French descepline referred to punishment and suffering. The Latin disciplina meant "teaching, learning." The Old English version referred to a branch of knowledge or field of study (so if you're really good at word origins, you might want to make etymology your discipline). Developing discipline as a form of training is a military concept that's more than 500 years old.

Definitions of discipline
  1. noun
    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
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    type of:
    system, system of rules
    a complex of methods or rules governing behavior
  2. noun
    a branch of knowledge
    “in what discipline is his doctorate?”
    synonyms: bailiwick, field, field of study, study, subject, subject area, subject field
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    types:
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    occultism
    the study of the supernatural
    communication theory, communications
    the discipline that studies the principles of transmiting information and the methods by which it is delivered (as print or radio or television etc.)
    major
    the principal field of study of a student at a university
    frontier
    an undeveloped field of study; a topic inviting research and development
    genealogy
    the study or investigation of ancestry and family history
    allometry
    the study of the relative growth of a part of an organism in relation to the growth of the whole
    bibliotics
    the scientific study of documents and handwriting etc. especially to determine authorship or authenticity
    ology
    an informal word (abstracted from words with this ending) for some unidentified branch of knowledge
    science, scientific discipline
    a particular branch of scientific knowledge
    architecture
    the discipline dealing with the principles of design and construction and ornamentation of fine buildings
    applied science, engineering, engineering science, technology
    the discipline dealing with the art or science of applying scientific knowledge to practical problems
    futuristics, futurology
    the study or prediction of future developments on the basis of existing conditions
    arts, humanistic discipline, humanities, liberal arts
    studies intended to provide general knowledge and intellectual skills (rather than occupational or professional skills)
    divinity, theology
    the rational and systematic study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truth
    military science
    the discipline dealing with the principles of warfare
    escapology
    the study of methods of escaping (especially as a form of entertainment)
    graphology
    the study of handwriting (especially as an indicator of the writer's character or disposition)
    numerology
    the study of the supposed occult influence of numbers on human affairs
    protology
    the study of origins and first things
    theogony
    the study of the origins and genealogy of the gods
    science
    a branch of study or knowledge involving the observation, investigation, and discovery of general laws or truths that can be tested systematically
    forensics
    the art or study of formal debate and argumentation
    natural history
    the scientific study of plants or animals (more observational than experimental) usually published in popular magazines rather than in academic journals
    symbology
    the study or the use of symbols and symbolism
    natural science, science
    the sciences involved in the study of the physical world and its phenomena
    math, mathematics, maths
    a science (or group of related sciences) dealing with the logic of quantity and shape and arrangement
    agronomy, scientific agriculture
    the application of soil and plant sciences to land management and crop production
    agrobiology
    the study of plant nutrition and growth especially as a way to increase crop yield
    agrology
    science of soils in relation to crops
    architectonics, tectonics
    the science of architecture
    landscape architecture
    the branch of architecture dealing with the arrangement of land and buildings for human use and enjoyment
    urban planning
    the branch of architecture dealing with the design and organization of urban space and activities
    interior design
    the branch of architecture dealing with the selection and organization of furnishings for an architectural interior
    metallurgy
    the science and technology of metals
    aeronautical engineering
    the branch of engineering science concerned with the design and construction of aircraft
    bionics
    application of biological principles to the study and design of engineering systems (especially electronic systems)
    bioengineering, biotechnology, ergonomics
    the branch of engineering science in which biological science is used to study the relation between workers and their environments
    chemical engineering
    the branch of engineering that is concerned with the design and construction and operation of the plants and machinery used in industrial chemical processes
    civil engineering
    the branch of engineering concerned with the design and construction of such public works as dams or bridges
    EE, electrical engineering
    the branch of engineering science that studies the uses of electricity and the equipment for power generation and distribution and the control of machines and communication
    computer science, computing
    the branch of engineering science that studies (with the aid of computers) computable processes and structures
    architectural engineering
    the branch of engineering that deals with the construction of buildings (as distinguished from architecture as a design art)
    industrial engineering, industrial management
    the branch of engineering that deals with the creation and management of systems that integrate people and materials and energy in productive ways
    IT, information technology
    the branch of engineering that deals with the use of computers and telecommunications to retrieve and store and transmit information
    mechanical engineering
    the branch of engineering that deals with the design and construction and operation of machinery
    nanotechnology
    the branch of engineering that deals with things smaller than 100 nanometers (especially with the manipulation of individual molecules)
    nuclear engineering
    the branch of engineering concerned with the design and construction and operation of nuclear reactors
    naval engineering
    the branch of engineering that deals with the design and construction and operation of ships
    rocketry
    the branch of engineering science that studies rocket design and operation
    metrology
    the scientific study of measurement
    nutrition
    the scientific study of food and drink (especially in humans)
    psychological science, psychology
    the science of mental life
    IP, informatics, information processing, information science
    the sciences concerned with gathering, manipulating, storing, retrieving, and classifying recorded information
    cognitive science
    the field of science concerned with cognition; includes parts of cognitive psychology and linguistics and computer science and cognitive neuroscience and philosophy of mind
    social science
    the branch of science that studies society and the relationships of individual within a society
    strategics
    the science or art of strategy
    systematics
    the science of systematic classification
    thanatology
    the branch of science that studies death (especially its social and psychological aspects)
    neoclassicism
    revival of a classical style (in art or literature or architecture or music) but from a new perspective or with a new motivation
    classicalism, classicism
    a movement in literature and art during the 17th and 18th centuries in Europe that favored rationality and restraint and strict forms
    Romantic Movement, Romanticism
    a movement in literature and art during the late 18th and early 19th centuries that celebrated nature rather than civilization
    English
    the discipline that studies the English language and literature
    history
    the discipline that records and interprets past events involving human beings
    art history
    the academic discipline that studies the development of painting and sculpture
    chronology
    the determination of the actual temporal sequence of past events
    beaux arts, fine arts
    the study and creation of visual works of art
    performing arts
    arts or skills that require public performance
    Occidentalism
    the scholarly knowledge of western cultures and languages and people
    Oriental Studies, Orientalism
    the scholarly knowledge of Asian cultures and languages and people
    philosophy
    the rational investigation of questions about existence and knowledge and ethics
    literary study
    the humanistic study of literature
    library science
    the study of the principles and practices of library administration
    linguistics, philology
    the humanistic study of language and literature
    musicology
    the scholarly and scientific study of music
    Sinology
    the study of Chinese history and language and culture
    stemmatics, stemmatology
    the humanistic discipline that attempts to reconstruct the transmission of a text (especially a text in manuscript form) on the basis of relations between the various surviving manuscripts (sometimes using cladistic analysis)
    trivium
    (Middle Ages) an introductory curriculum at a medieval university involving grammar and logic and rhetoric; considered to be a triple way to eloquence
    quadrivium
    (Middle Ages) a higher division of the curriculum in a medieval university involving arithmetic and music and geometry and astronomy
    cryptanalysis, cryptanalytics, cryptography, cryptology
    the science of analyzing and deciphering codes and ciphers and cryptograms
    linguistics
    the scientific study of language
    angelology
    the branch of theology that is concerned with angels
    apologetics
    the branch of theology that is concerned with the defense of Christian doctrines
    ecclesiology
    the branch of theology concerned with the nature and the constitution and the functions of a church
    eschatology
    the branch of theology that is concerned with such final things as death and Last Judgment; Heaven and Hell; the ultimate destiny of humankind
    hermeneutics
    the branch of theology that deals with principles of exegesis
    homiletics
    the branch of theology that deals with sermons and homilies
    liturgics, liturgiology
    the study of liturgies
    theodicy
    the branch of theology that defends God's goodness and justice in the face of the existence of evil
    tactics
    the branch of military science dealing with detailed maneuvers to achieve objectives set by strategy
    strategy
    the branch of military science dealing with military command and the planning and conduct of a war
    aerospace
    the branch of science related to space flight and aviation
    type of:
    domain, knowledge base, knowledge domain
    the content of a particular field of knowledge
  3. noun
    training to improve strength or self-control
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    type of:
    grooming, preparation, training
    activity leading to skilled behavior
  4. noun
    the trait of being well behaved
    “he insisted on discipline among the troops”
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    Antonyms:
    indiscipline, undiscipline
    the trait of lacking discipline
    types:
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    self-denial, self-discipline
    the trait of practicing self discipline
    control, restraint
    discipline in personal and social activities
    asceticism, austerity, nonindulgence
    the trait of great self-denial (especially refraining from worldly pleasures)
    abstention, abstinence
    the trait of abstaining (especially from alcohol)
    continence, continency
    the exercise of self constraint in sexual matters
    self-restraint, temperateness
    exhibiting restraint imposed on the self
    moderation, temperance
    the trait of avoiding excesses
    inhibition
    the quality of being inhibited
    continence
    voluntary control over urinary and fecal discharge
    type of:
    trait
    a distinguishing feature of your personal nature
  5. noun
    the act of punishing
    “the offenders deserved the harsh discipline they received”
    synonyms: correction
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    types:
    spanking
    the act of slapping on the buttocks
    type of:
    penalisation, penalization, penalty, punishment, sanction
    the act of punishing
  6. verb
    develop behavior by instruction and practice; especially to teach self-control
    “Parents must discipline their children”
    synonyms: check, condition, train
    groom, prepare, train
    educate for a future role or function
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    types:
    mortify
    practice self-denial of one's body and appetites
    type of:
    develop, make grow
    cause to grow and differentiate in ways conforming to its natural development
  7. verb
    punish in order to gain control or enforce obedience
    “The teacher disciplined the pupils rather frequently”
    synonyms: correct, sort out
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    type of:
    penalise, penalize, punish, sanction
    impose a penalty on; inflict punishment on
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