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[dif-uh-ren-shee-uh, -shuh] /ˌdɪf əˈrɛn ʃi ə, -ʃə/
noun, plural differentiae
[dif-uh-ren-shee-ee] /ˌdɪf əˈrɛn ʃiˌi/ (Show IPA)
the character or attribute by which one species is distinguished from all others of the same genus.
the character or basic factor by which one entity is distinguished from another.
Origin of differentia
From Latin, dating back to 1820-30; See origin at difference Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for differentia
Historical Examples
  • Its differentia is that which separates it from the unit of common humanity.

    Personality in Literature Rolfe Arnold Scott-James
  • It is the possession of these, above all, which constitutes the differentia of man.

    Gloria Crucis J. H. Beibitz
  • Moreover, the definition of the differentia may be predicated of that of which the differentia itself is predicated.

    The Categories Aristotle
  • If one of them only has this differentia, then this one is composite and is not the first cause.

  • Universality not the differentia of aesthetic pleasure, 40 et seq.

    The Sense of Beauty George Santayana
  • Disinterestedness not the differentia of aesthetic pleasure, 37 et seq.

    The Sense of Beauty George Santayana
  • Objectification the differentia of aesthetic pleasure, 44 et seq.

    The Sense of Beauty George Santayana
  • Egotism is Montaigne's note, his differentia, in the world of literature.

    Classic French Course in English William Cleaver Wilkinson
  • It is what a logician might call the differentia of Buluwayo.

  • What is the differentia, limiting the Genus and constituting the Species?

    Aristotle George Grote
British Dictionary definitions for differentia


noun (pl) -tiae (-ʃɪˌiː)
(logic) a feature by which two subclasses of the same class of named objects can be distinguished Also called difference
Word Origin
C19: from Latin: diversity, difference
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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