# Definition:Variable/Discrete

< Definition:Variable(Redirected from Definition:Discrete Variable)

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## Definition

A **discrete variable** is a variable which is not continuous.

## Examples

### Number of Children

The number $N$ of children in any given family can take one of the values in the set $\N = \set {0, 1, 2, \ldots}$

However, $N$ cannot take the value of a number which is not a natural number, for example, $2 \cdotp 5$ or $3 \cdotp 842$.

That is, $N$ is a **discrete variable**.

## Also see

## Linguistic Note

Be careful with the word **discrete**.

A common homophone horror is to use the word **discreet** instead.

However, **discreet** means **cautious** or **tactful**, and describes somebody who is able to keep silent for political or delicate social reasons.

## Sources

- 1972: Murray R. Spiegel and R.W. Boxer:
*Theory and Problems of Statistics*(SI ed.) ... (previous) ... (next): Chapter $1$: Discrete and Continuous Variables