Etymology
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discretion (n.)

c. 1300, dyscrecyounne, "ability to perceive and understand;" mid-14c., "moral discernment, ability to distinguish right from wrong;" c. 1400, "prudence, sagacity regarding one's conduct," from Old French discrecion and directly from Medieval Latin discretionem (nominative discretio) "discernment, power to make distinctions," in classical Latin "separation, distinction," noun of state from past-participle stem of discernere "to separate, distinguish" (see discern).

Phrase at (one's) discretion attested from 1570s (earlier in (one's) discretion, late 14c.), from sense of "power to decide or judge, power of acting according to one's own judgment" (late 14c.). The age of discretion (late 14c.) in English law was 14.

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discretionary (adj.)

"left to discretion, restrained only by judgment," 1680s (implied in discretionarily); see discretion + -ary.

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indiscretion (n.)
mid-14c., "want of discretion, imprudence," from Old French indiscrecion "foolishness, imprudence" (12c.), from Late Latin indiscretionem (nominative indiscretio) "lack of discernment," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + discretionem "discernment, power to make distinctions" (see discretion). Meaning "indiscreet act" is from c. 1600.
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sophrosyne (n.)
the quality of wise moderation; Greek, "prudence, moderation in desires, discretion, temperance," from sophron "of sound mind, prudent, temperate" (see Sophronia).
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arbitrary (adj.)
c. 1400, "deciding by one's own discretion, depending on one's judgment," from Latin arbitrarius "of arbitration," hence "depending on the will, uncertain," from arbiter (see arbiter). The meaning in English gradually descended to "capricious, ungoverned by reason or rule, despotic" (1640s). Related: Arbitrarily; arbitrariness.
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intemperance (n.)
early 15c., "lack of restraint, excess," also of weather, "inclemency, severity," from Old French intemperance (14c.) and directly from Latin intemperantia "intemperateness, immoderation, excess" (as in intemperantia vini "immoderate use of wine"), from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + temperantia "moderation, sobriety, discretion, self-control," from temperans, present participle of temperare "to moderate" (see temper (v.)).
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prudence (n.)

mid-14c. (c. 1200 as a surname), "intelligence; discretion, foresight; practical wisdom to see what is suitable or profitable;" also one of the four cardinal virtues, "wisdom to see what is virtuous;" from Old French prudence (13c.) and directly from Latin prudentia "a foreseeing, foresight, sagacity, practical judgment," contraction of providentia "foresight" (see providence, which is a doublet). The secondary sense of "knowledge, science" (late 14c.) is preserved in jurisprudence.

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United Nations 

1942, "the Allied nations at war with the Axis powers;" the international body (officially the United Nations Organization) was chartered in 1945.

Such negotiation as may occur in New York is not conducted within the walls of the tall building by the East River: it is carried out elsewhere, in accordance with those principles of courtesy, confidence and discretion which must for ever remain the only principles conducive to the peaceful settlement of disputes. [Harold Nicholson, "The Evolution of Diplomatic Method," 1954]
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temperance (n.)
mid-14c., "self-restraint, moderation," from Anglo-French temperaunce (mid-13c.), from Latin temperantia "moderation, sobriety, discretion, self-control," from temperans, present participle of temperare "to moderate" (see temper (v.)). Latin temperantia was used by Cicero to translate Greek sophrosyne "moderation." In English, temperance was used to render Latin continentia or abstinentia, specifically in reference to drinking alcohol and eating; hence by early 1800s it had come to mean "abstinence from alcoholic drink."
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carte blanche (n.)
1707, "paper duly authenticated by a signature and otherwise blank, left to someone to be filled in at his discretion," French, literally "white paper," from carte (see card (n.1)) + blanche, from Old French blanc "white," a word of Germanic origin (see blank (adj.)). Figurative sense of "full discretionary power, unrestricted permission or authority in some manner" is from 1766. Compare blank check, used in the same figurative sense.
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