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Discard vs. Disregard: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Updated on November 2, 2023
To discard is to throw something away; to disregard is to ignore or not consider something.

Key Differences

Discard involves physically removing something that is no longer needed, like discarding old clothes. Disregard, on the other hand, refers to mentally ignoring information or not giving it any consideration, such as disregarding a rumor.
Discard can also relate to letting go of ideas or plans, implying an action taken to eliminate. Disregard is the act of treating something as unworthy of consideration, perhaps due to irrelevance or insignificance, like disregarding a piece of advice.
When you discard something, there's often a tangible aspect to it, such as discarding a piece of paper. Disregard is intangible, lacking physicality, as when one disregards an insult, choosing not to let it affect them.
In games, to discard is to remove a card from play, an act that affects the game’s dynamics. To disregard in the same context would be to ignore a rule or strategy, which is a mental choice rather than a physical action.
Discard suggests a finality, a decision that has been acted upon, such as discarding an old chair. Disregard suggests a continuous state, such as continually disregarding someone's input, which may persist over time.

Comparison Chart


Physical or conceptual removal
Mental act of ignoring or neglecting


Often used for objects or ideas
Primarily used for information or rules


Finality of action
Continuation or persistence


Removal from current status or usage
Persistence of status despite input

Usage in Sentence

“She decided to discard the old rug.”
“He chose to disregard the warning.”

Discard and Disregard Definitions


To throw something away because it is no longer useful.
She decided to discard her worn-out sneakers.


To willfully neglect or show indifference to something.
Despite the risks, they disregarded the need for safety gear.


To remove a card from your hand in card games.
It was his turn to discard an ace.


To treat as unimportant; to brush aside.
She disregarded the signs warning of danger ahead.


To get rid of something unnecessary or unwanted.
The editor told her to discard the redundant passages in her article.


To pay no attention to; ignore.
He chose to disregard the critics’ negative comments.


To leave behind or let go of something.
Discard any doubts you have and move forward with confidence.


To fail to consider or acknowledge.
They disregarded the recommendation to evacuate.


To abandon a particular thought or plan.
The team had to discard their original strategy after the setback.


To overlook or dismiss something intentionally.
The company disregarded the small error as insignificant


To throw away; reject.


To pay no attention or heed to; ignore
We disregarded your advice.


To throw out (a playing card) from one's hand.


To show no evidence of attention concerning (something)
Conduct that disregards risks to others.


Do discard and disregard have similar meanings?

No, discard means to throw away; disregard means to ignore.

Is disregard a passive action?

Disregard can be a passive action, as it involves ignoring something.

Can discard be used in a non-physical sense?

Yes, discard can refer to abandoning ideas or plans.

Does disregard imply disrespect?

Disregard can imply disrespect if it is willful, but not always.

Can you discard something temporarily?

Discarding generally implies a permanent action.

Can discard be used in card games?

Yes, discard is commonly used to describe removing a card from play.

Can both discard and disregard apply to objects?

Typically, discard applies to objects; disregard does not.

Is disregard always intentional?

Disregard is often intentional, but it can be unintentional if something is overlooked.

Is it correct to use disregard when referring to advice?

Yes, disregard can be used for advice that is not followed.

Are there synonyms for disregard?

Yes, synonyms include ignore, overlook, and neglect.

Does discard have an emotional connotation?

Discard can have an emotional aspect when letting go of personal items.

Can a disregard be a safety hazard?

Yes, disregarding safety warnings can be hazardous.

Can disregard be considered rude?

Disregarding someone or something can be seen as rude.

Is discarding always a physical act?

No, it can also refer to the act of dropping an idea or plan.

Is it possible to disregard someone’s feelings?

Yes, you can disregard someone’s feelings by ignoring them.

Can businesses discard or disregard policies?

Businesses can discard (eliminate) or disregard (ignore) policies.

Are there synonyms for discard?

Yes, synonyms include throw away, dispose of, and jettison.

Can you disregard someone’s opinion?

Yes, you can disregard someone’s opinion by not considering it.

Is discarding an active process?

Yes, discarding involves actively getting rid of something.

Can disregard be a form of denial?

Yes, if someone refuses to acknowledge the truth, they are disregarding it.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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