discipline (n.)

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.

Origin and meaning of discipline

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.

updated on October 13, 2021

Definitions of discipline from WordNet
discipline (n.)
a branch of knowledge;
in what discipline is his doctorate?
Synonyms: subject / subject area / subject field / field / field of study / study / bailiwick
discipline (n.)
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
discipline (n.)
the trait of being well behaved;
he insisted on discipline among the troops
discipline (n.)
training to improve strength or self-control;
discipline (n.)
the act of disciplining;
the offenders deserved the harsh discipline they received
Synonyms: correction
discipline (v.)
develop (a child's or animal's) behavior by instruction and practice; especially to teach self-control;
Parents must discipline their children
Synonyms: train / check / condition
discipline (v.)
punish in order to gain control or enforce obedience;
The teacher disciplined the pupils rather frequently
Synonyms: correct / sort out
Etymologies are not definitions. From, not affiliated with etymonline.