Distinguish Definition

distinguished, distinguishes, distinguishing
distinguished, distinguishes, distinguishing
To perceive as being different or distinct.
Can you distinguish a pattern in this behavior?
American Heritage
To make a distinction (between or among)
Webster's New World
To perceive clearly; recognize plainly by any of the senses.
Webster's New World
To be an essential characteristic of; characterize.
Webster's New World
To separate or mark off by differences; perceive or show the difference in; differentiate.
Webster's New World

Origin of Distinguish

  • 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

  • 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

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