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I understand why you would refer to mathematics which concerns itself with all of the numbers on the number line as 'continuous' but why would you refer to countable or finite mathematics as 'discrete'? Like it's the mathematics no one talks about? Where does this labeling come from?

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"Discrete" $\neq$ "discreet"! – user64687 Jan 19 '14 at 17:04
@Asal: Some things are both! – Asaf Karagila Jan 19 '14 at 17:05
@AsafKaragila Oh wow that made my day. – Paze Jan 19 '14 at 17:06
A little googling reveals that both words come from latin discretus meaning separate. – Karolis Juodelė Jan 19 '14 at 17:09
The Pomona College math club used to have T-shirts that said "Mathematicians do it discretely and continuously"... – Nate Eldredge Jan 19 '14 at 17:28

1 Answer 1

As the online dictionary at says, "discrete" means anything constituting a separate entity or anything consisting of distinct or unconnected elements.

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