V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: 1. having or using the ability to use one's own judgment or decision; 2. given or refused according to the specific circumstances, rather than automatically (as with funds); 3. subject to judgment

Synonyms: arbitrary, elective, optional, voluntary, discretional

Antonyms: compulsory, mandatory

Tips: When there is a decision to be made, discretionary power is allotted certain committees, legislative bodies, and the like. That is, they are given the power to make a decision on their own. Think, ability to use your own judgment. The related noun discretion means "choice or option." In economics, discretionary income is the income you can spend at your own discretion or choice after you have paid for life essentials that you can not live without, such as food, clothing, and shelter.

Usage Examples:

The creative director had the discretionary power to hire a new graphic designer. (elective)

The PTA had discretionary spending power over profits from fund-raisers. (discretional, subject to judgment)

She left the decision up to my discretion. (choice) noun

Money spent on non-essential items after you have purchased food, clothing, and shelter is considered discretionary income. (optional, discretional)

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