Distinguish definition

dĭ-stĭnggwĭsh
To separate or mark off by differences; perceive or show the difference in; differentiate.
verb
8
4
To cause (oneself) to be respected or eminent.

They have distinguished themselves as dedicated social workers.

verb
2
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To make famous or eminent; give distinction to.

To distinguish oneself in battle.

verb
3
2
To be an essential characteristic of; characterize.
verb
4
4
To perceive as being different or distinct.

Can you distinguish a pattern in this behavior?

verb
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0
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To perceive distinctly; discern.

The lookout distinguished the masts of ships on the horizon.

verb
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To demonstrate or describe as being different or distinct.

A scientist who distinguished four species of the plant.

verb
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To be an identifying characteristic of; make noticeable or different.

These spices distinguish this style of Asian cooking.

verb
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0
To perceive or indicate differences; discriminate.

Can the child distinguish between right and wrong?

verb
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0
To perceive clearly; recognize plainly by any of the senses.
verb
1
2
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To separate and classify.
verb
1
2
The definition of distinguish is to recognize differences, or to be identified as a characteristic of something, or to earn a position of status or high esteem.

When you can tell the difference between white and yellow, this is an example of when you distinguish.

When a person is given the title Teacher of the Year, this is an example of when you honor or distinguish someone.

verb
0
1
In a judicial decision, or an argument such as a brief in support of a particular legal outcome, to note or argue that a prior decision of the same or another court is inapplicable as precedent, because of significant differences in the facts or in the legal posture of the two cases.
verb
0
1
To see someone or something as different from others.
verb
0
1
To see someone or something clearly or distinctly.
verb
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1
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To make oneself noticeably different or better from others through accomplishments.
verb
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1
To make a distinction (between or among)
verb
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2

Origin of distinguish

  • Alteration of obsolete distingue from Middle English distinguen from Old French distinguer from Latin distinguere to separate steig- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle English distingwen, from Old French distinguer, from Latin distinguere (“to separate, divide, distinguish, set off, adorn, literally mark off”), from di- for dis- (“apart”) + stinguere; see sting, stigma, style. Compare extinguish.

    From Wiktionary