An example of differentiate is when you can look at a good painting and a bad painting and know the difference.
transitive verb-·at·ed, -·at·ing
- to constitute a difference in or between
- to make unlike; develop specialized differences in
- to perceive or express the difference in; distinguish between; discriminate
- Math. to work out the differential or derivative of (a function)
Origin of differentiatefrom Medieval Latin differentiatus, past participle of differentiare from Classical Latin differentia: see difference
- to become different or differentiated; develop new characteristics
- to perceive or express a difference
- Biol. to undergo differentiation
verbdif·fer·en·ti·at·ed, dif·fer·en·ti·at·ing, dif·fer·en·ti·ates
- To constitute the distinction between: subspecies that are differentiated by the markings on their wings.
- To perceive or show the difference in or between; discriminate.
- To make different by alteration or modification.
- Mathematics To calculate the derivative or differential of (a function).
- To become distinct or specialized; acquire a different character.
- To make distinctions; discriminate.
- Biology To undergo differentiation.
(third-person singular simple present differentiates, present participle differentiating, simple past and past participle differentiated)
- To show, or be the distinction between two things.
- (intransitive) To perceive the difference between things; to discriminate.
- (intransitive) To modify, or be modified.
- (mathematics) To calculate the derivative of a function.
- (mathematics) To calculate the differential of a function of multiple variables.
- (intransitive, biology) To produce distinct organs or to achieve specific functions by a process of development called differentiation.