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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for differentia
Historical Examples
  • Both will be comprised in the same Category, and will have the same genus and differentia.

    Aristotle George Grote
  • It is the possession of these, above all, which constitutes the differentia of man.

    Gloria Crucis J. H. Beibitz
  • Find the genus and differentia in the definition of “a good book of the hour.”

    English: Composition and Literature W. F. (William Franklin) Webster
  • Moreover, the definition of the differentia may be predicated of that of which the differentia itself is predicated.

    The Categories Aristotle
  • What, according to Hobhouse, are the differentia of human morality from animal behavior?

  • Objectification the differentia of aesthetic pleasure, 44 et seq.

    The Sense of Beauty George Santayana
  • On the one hand, he makes the most of the differentia between ancient and modern Imperialism.

    The Evolution of States J. M. Robertson
  • The Aristotelians said that the differentia must be of the essence of the subject.

  • Disinterestedness not the differentia of aesthetic pleasure, 37 et seq.

    The Sense of Beauty George Santayana
  • We have to find, then, some differentia of training from education.

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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