- a marking off or distinguishing as different: His distinction of sounds is excellent.
- the recognizing or noting of differences; discrimination: to make a distinction between right and wrong.
- a discrimination made between things as different; special regard or favoritism: Death comes to all without distinction.
- condition of being different; difference: There is a distinction between what he says and what he does.
- a distinguishing quality or characteristic: It has the distinction of being the oldest house in the town.
- a distinguishing or treating with special honor, attention, or favor.
- an act of bestowing, or a mark of, honor or favor.
- marked superiority; note; eminence.
- distinguished appearance.
- Obsolete. division; separation.
Origin of distinction
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for distinction
Although Southern did not automatically equal neo-Confederate, at times the distinction could easily get lost.Steve Scalise Shows There’s a Fine Line Between Confederate & Southern
January 2, 2015
The distinction between over-policing and non-responsiveness was alive and well in Bed-Stuy.Ground Zero of the NYPD Slowdown
January 1, 2015
That is a distinction with a sociological difference—for many, an uncomfortable one to consider.No Gods, No Cops, No Masters
January 1, 2015
But this may be a distinction without much of a difference—especially since Scalise admitted speaking before EURO.GOP Boss Gets Help From ‘White Hate’ Pal
December 30, 2014
There is, in fact, a distinction in the level of protection.Fact-Checking the Sunday Shows: Dec. 14
December 14, 2014
He might even qualify for some distinction in it with such a teacher!Weighed and Wanting
Isabel was lodged at the court of France, and treated with distinction.Cameos from English History, from Rollo to Edward II
Charlotte Mary Yonge
That distinction Beaufort did not feel; but at a glance it was visible to Philip.Night and Morning, Complete
A method of distinction so cheap that fools employ it to accentuate their incapacity.The Devil's Dictionary
We may observe a like distinction to run through all the other perceptions of the mind.
- the act or an instance of distinguishing or differentiating
- a distinguishing feature
- the state of being different or distinguishable
- special honour, recognition, or fame
- excellence of character; distinctive qualitiesa man of distinction
- distinguished appearance
- a symbol of honour or rank
Word Origin and History for distinction
c.1200, "one of the parts into which something is divided;" mid-14c. as "action of distinguishing," from Old French distinction and directly from Latin distinctionem (nominative distinctio) "separation, distinction, discrimination," noun of action from past participle stem of distinguere (see distinguish). Meaning "distinctive nature or character" is late 14c. Meaning "excellence or eminence" (what distinguishes from others) is first recorded 1690s.