View synonyms for differentiate


[ dif-uh-ren-shee-eyt ]

verb (used with object)

, dif·fer·en·ti·at·ed, dif·fer·en·ti·at·ing.
  1. to form or mark differently from other such things; distinguish.
  2. to change; alter.
  3. to perceive the difference in or between.

    Synonyms: separate

  4. to make different by modification, as a biological species.
  5. Mathematics. to obtain the differential or the derivative of.

verb (used without object)

, dif·fer·en·ti·at·ed, dif·fer·en·ti·at·ing.
  1. to become unlike or dissimilar; change in character.
  2. to make a distinction.
  3. Biology. (of cells or tissues) to change from relatively generalized to specialized kinds, during development.


/ ˌdɪfəˈrɛnʃɪˌeɪt /


  1. tr to serve to distinguish between
  2. whenintr, often foll by between to perceive, show, or make a difference (in or between); discriminate
  3. intr to become dissimilar or distinct
  4. maths to perform a differentiation on (a quantity, expression, etc)
  5. intr (of unspecialized cells, etc) to change during development to more specialized forms

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Derived Forms

  • ˌdifferˈentiˌator, noun

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Other Words From

  • dif·fer·enti·ation noun
  • inter·differ·enti·ate verb (used with object) interdifferentiated interdifferentiating
  • redif·fer·enti·ate verb redifferentiated redifferentiating
  • self-differ·enti·ating adjective
  • undif·fer·enti·ated adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of differentiate1

First recorded in 1810–20; from Medieval Latin differentiātus distinguished (past participle of differentiāre ), equivalent to Latin different(ia) difference + -ātus -ate 1

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Synonym Study

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Example Sentences

What differentiates Verify is that it focuses primarily on video, Ostrow said, though as the new team comes together they will also produce more articles.

From Digiday

There are a few popular types of reusable hand warmers, differentiated by heating mechanism.

They’re motivated first and foremost by winning the war for talent, but also by opportunities to differentiate themselves with customers and investors.

From Fortune

Yet few have been taught how to differentiate between the streams to information to understand when and how they are being lied to and manipulated.

From Time

So now, it’s up to diners to differentiate between decisions made with public health in mind, and those fueled by economic or political pressures.

From Eater

How can we taxonomize their experience, and differentiate it from hallucination, or psychotic break?

How did you try to differentiate your version from that one?

He also shared insight into major factors that differentiate ancient vines.

He created the curved Virgule heel as a signature, to differentiate his work post-Dior.

They do not differentiate between the self-proclaimed Jewish State and the non-complicit members of that faith.

Application of gentle heat or appropriate chemicals will serve to differentiate them.

They consented to differentiate the armor so that a body could tell one team from the other, but that was the most they would do.

As it is difficult to differentiate this second form from the first, the same precaution should be used.

These characteristics which differentiate beings can therefore be called qualities only figuratively.

I cannot say it often enough, that we must carefully differentiate between doctrine and life.


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