- to mark off as different (often followed by from or by): He was distinguished from the other boys by his height.
- 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.
- to perceive clearly by sight or other sense; discern; recognize: He could not distinguish many of the words.
- to set apart as different; be a distinctive characteristic of; characterize: It is his Italian accent that distinguishes him.
- to make prominent, conspicuous, or eminent: to distinguish oneself in battle.
- to divide into classes; classify: Let us distinguish the various types of metaphor.
- Archaic. to single out for or honor with special attention.
- to indicate or show a difference (usually followed by between).
- to recognize or note differences; discriminate.
Origin of distinguish
Examples from the Web for distinguishes
Ultimately it is liberty, of which artistic freedom is a key component, which distinguishes the Jewish State from its enemies.See the Met’s ‘Klinghoffer,’ Then Judge It
November 4, 2014
He had that indefinable sixth sense that distinguishes gifted warriors from good ones.Mike Leach Tackles Geronimo the Motivational Murderer
James A. Warren
August 17, 2014
Again, that distinguishes American political rhetoric from the rhetoric of other western nations.Sunday Q&A: Josef Joffe on the Myth of American Decline
November 17, 2013
In fact, the way he distinguishes himself from his opponents is his fervent opposition to the Keystone pipeline.Inside Carl Sciortino’s Viral Campaign Ad
September 19, 2013
But if neocons are merely one kind of hawk, then what distinguishes them from all the rest?‘Neoconservative’ Needs to Be Retired. Why Not Try ‘Imperialist’?
June 5, 2013
It is this that distinguishes this class of foods from animal foods.Woman's Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 2
Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences
That which distinguishes the man who is content to be something from the man who wishes to do something.
The faculty that distinguishes a weak animal or person from a strong one.
A man only is so who understands, who distinguishes, who tests it.Reflections
Francois Duc De La Rochefoucauld
Why, because he distinguishes the face of a friend and of an enemy only by the criterion of knowing and not knowing.The Republic
- (when intr, foll by between or among) to make, show, or recognize a difference or differences (between or among); differentiate (between)
- to be a distinctive feature of; characterize
- to make out; perceive
- to mark for a special honour or title
- to make (oneself) noteworthyhe distinguished himself by his cowardice
- to classify; categorizewe distinguished three species
Word Origin and History for distinguishes
1560s, from Middle French distinguiss-, stem of distinguer, or directly from Latin distinguere "to separate between, separate by pricking," from dis- "apart" (see dis-) + -stinguere "to prick" (see extinguish, and cf. Latin instinguere "to incite, impel").
The suffix -ish is due to the influence of many verbs in which it is the equivalent of Old French -iss-, ultimately from Latin inchoative suffix -iscere (this is also the case in extinguish, admonish, and astonish). Related: Distinguishing. The earlier form of the verb was distinguen (mid-14c.).