Etymology
Advertisement
discipline (n.)
Origin and meaning of discipline

c. 1200, "penitential chastisement; punishment for the sake of correction," from Old French descepline "discipline, physical punishment; teaching; suffering; martyrdom" (11c., Modern French discipline) and directly from Latin disciplina "instruction given, teaching, learning, knowledge," also "object of instruction, knowledge, science, military discipline," from discipulus "pupil, student, follower" (see disciple (n.)).

The Latin word is glossed in Old English by þeodscipe. The meaning "treatment that corrects or punishes" is from the notion of "order necessary for instruction."

Meaning "branch of instruction or education" is first recorded late 14c. Meaning "system of rules and regulations" is from mid-14c. Meaning "military training" is from late 15c., via the notion of "training to follow orders and act in accordance with rules;" that of "orderly conduct as a result of training" is from c. 1500. Sense of "system by which the practice of a church is regulated, laws which bind the subjects of a church in their conduct" is from 1570s.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
discipline (v.)

c. 1300, disciplinen, "to subject to (penitential) discipline, correct, chastise, punish," from Old French descepliner and directly from Medieval Latin disciplinare, from Latin disciplina (see discipline (n.)). Meaning "instruct, educate, train" is from late 14c. Related: Disciplined; disciplines; disciplining.

Related entries & more 
self-discipline (n.)

"ability to restrain or guide or control oneself," 1690s; see self- + discipline (n.). Related: Self-disciplined.

Related entries & more 
multidisciplinary (adj.)

also multi-disciplinary, "combining many academic fields or methods," 1949, from multi- "many" + discipline (n.) + -ary.

Related entries & more 
disciplinable (adj.)

mid-15c., "amenable to discipline by instruction or improvement by teaching," from Medieval Latin disciplinabilis "docile." Meaning "subject or liable to discipline or correction" is from 1870, from discipline + -able.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
disciplinary (adj.)

"promoting orderly observance of rules," 1590s, from Medieval Latin disciplinarius, from Latin disciplina "instruction given, teaching," also "military discipline" (see discipline (n.)).

Related entries & more 
indiscipline (n.)

"disorder, lack of discipline," 1783, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + discipline (n.). Perhaps modeled on French indiscipline (18c.). Indisciplined as a past-participle adjective is attested from c. 1400.

Related entries & more 
undisciplined (adj.)

late 14c., "untrained," from un- (1) "not" + past participle of discipline (v.). Similar formation in German undisciplinirt, Swedish odisciplinerad. Specific meaning "not subject to military discipline" is attested from 1718.

Related entries & more 
disciplinant (n.)

1610s, "one who subjects himself to a course of discipline," from Spanish Disciplinantes, name of a former religious order whose members scourged themselves in public, from Latin disciplina (see discipline (n.)).

Related entries & more 
disciplinarian (n.)

1630s, "one who enforces order;" see discipline; it was earlier used (often with capital D-) of Puritans who wanted to establish the Presbyterian "discipline" in England (1580s). An earlier word in the sense "enforcer of discipline" was discipliner (mid-15c.). Meaning "advocate of greater discipline" is from 1746.

Related entries & more