In mathematics, a **discrete valuation** is an integer valuation on a field *K*; that is, a function:^{[1]}

satisfying the conditions:

for all .

Note that often the trivial valuation which takes on only the values is explicitly excluded.

A field with a non-trivial discrete valuation is called a **discrete valuation field**.

To every field with discrete valuation we can associate the subring

of , which is a discrete valuation ring. Conversely, the valuation on a discrete valuation ring can be extended in a unique way to a discrete valuation on the quotient field ; the associated discrete valuation ring is just .

- For a fixed prime and for any element different from zero write with such that does not divide . Then is a discrete valuation on , called the p-adic valuation.
- Given a Riemann surface , we can consider the field of meromorphic functions . For a fixed point , we define a discrete valuation on as follows: if and only if is the largest integer such that the function can be extended to a holomorphic function at . This means: if then has a root of order at the point ; if then has a pole of order at . In a similar manner, one also defines a discrete valuation on the function field of an algebraic curve for every regular point on the curve.

More examples can be found in the article on discrete valuation rings.