distinguish


distinguish
distinguishable, adj.distinguishableness, distinguishability, n.distinguishably, adv.distinguisher, n.distinguishment, n.
/di sting"gwish/, v.t.
1. to mark off as different (often fol. by from or by): He was distinguished from the other boys by his height.
2. to recognize as distinct or different; recognize the salient or individual features or characteristics of: It is hard to distinguish her from her twin sister.
3. to perceive clearly by sight or other sense; discern; recognize: He could not distinguish many of the words.
4. to set apart as different; be a distinctive characteristic of; characterize: It is his Italian accent that distinguishes him.
5. to make prominent, conspicuous, or eminent: to distinguish oneself in battle.
6. to divide into classes; classify: Let us distinguish the various types of metaphor.
7. Archaic. to single out for or honor with special attention.
v.i.
8. to indicate or show a difference (usually fol. by between).
9. to recognize or note differences; discriminate.
[1555-65; extension, by -ISH2, of ME disting(u)en ( < AF, MF distinguer) < L distinguere; see DISTINCT]
Syn. 2. DISTINGUISH, DIFFERENTIATE, DISCRIMINATE suggest an attempt to analyze characteristic features or qualities of things. To DISTINGUISH is to recognize the characteristic features belonging to a thing: to distinguish a light cruiser from a heavy cruiser. To DISCRIMINATE is to perceive the particular, nice, or exact differences between things, to determine wherein these differences consist, and to estimate their significance: to discriminate prejudiced from unprejudiced testimony. To DIFFERENTIATE is to point out exactly and in detail the differences between (usually) two things: The symptoms of both diseases are so similar that it is hard to differentiate one from another.
Ant. 2. confuse.

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • distinguish — dis·tin·guish vt: to identify or explain differences in or from distinguish ed the cases on factual grounds Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996. distinguish …   Law dictionary

  • Distinguish — Dis*tin guish, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Distinguished}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Distinguishing}.] [F. distinguer, L. distinguere, distinctum; di = dis + stinguere to quench, extinguish; prob. orig., to prick, and so akin to G. stechen, E. stick, and perh.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • distinguish — 1 Distinguish, differentiate, discriminate, demarcate are synonymous when they mean to point out or mark the differences between things that are or seem to be much alike or closely related. Distinguish presupposes sources of confusion; the things …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • distinguish — [di stiŋ′gwish] vt. [< L distinguere, to separate, discriminate < dis , apart + stinguere, to prick < IE base * steig , to prick, pierce (> STICK, Ger sticken, to embroider, Gr stigma) + ISH, sense 2] 1. to separate or mark off by… …   English World dictionary

  • distinguish — [v1] tell the difference analyze, ascertain, categorize, characterize, classify, collate, decide, demarcate, determinate, determine, diagnose, diagnosticate, differentiate, discriminate, divide, estimate, extricate, figure out, finger*, identify …   New thesaurus

  • distinguish — ► VERB 1) recognize, show, or treat as different. 2) manage to discern (something barely perceptible). 3) be an identifying characteristic of. 4) (distinguish oneself) make oneself worthy of respect. DERIVATIVES distinguishable adjective …   English terms dictionary

  • Distinguish — Dis*tin guish, v. i. 1. To make distinctions; to perceive the difference; to exercise discrimination; with between; as, a judge distinguishes between cases apparently similar, but differing in principle. [1913 Webster] 2. To become distinguished… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • distinguish — 1560s, from M.Fr. distinguiss , stem of distinguer, or directly from L. distinguere to separate between, separate by pricking, from dis apart (see DIS (Cf. dis )) + stinguere to prick (see EXTINGUISH (Cf. extinguish), and Cf. L. instinguere …   Etymology dictionary

  • distinguish */*/*/ — UK [dɪˈstɪŋɡwɪʃ] / US verb Word forms distinguish : present tense I/you/we/they distinguish he/she/it distinguishes present participle distinguishing past tense distinguished past participle distinguished 1) [intransitive/transitive] to recognize …   English dictionary

  • distinguish — dis|tin|guish [ dı stıŋgwıʃ ] verb *** 1. ) intransitive or transitive to recognize the differences between things: DIFFERENTIATE: He learned to distinguish a great variety of birds, animals, and plants. distinguish between: They concluded that… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • distinguish — 01. Children under the age of 4 cannot always [distinguish] between the truth and a lie. 02. Witnesses to the crime said the suspect had no [distinguishing] features. 03. The Beatles [distinguished] themselves as perhaps the most important… …   Grammatical examples in English


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