differentiation

[dif-uh-ren-shee-ey-shuh n]

noun

the act or process of differentiating, or the state of being differentiated.
Mathematics. the operation of finding the differential or derivative of a function.
Biology. the process by which cells or tissues change from relatively generalized to specialized kinds, during development.

Nearby words

  1. differential ureteralcatheterization test,
  2. differential weathering,
  3. differential windlass,
  4. differentially,
  5. differentiate,
  6. differentiator,
  7. differently,
  8. difficile,
  9. difficult,
  10. difficulty

Origin of differentiation

First recorded in 1800–10; differentiat(e) + -ion

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for differentiation


British Dictionary definitions for differentiation

differentiation

noun

the act, process, or result of differentiating
maths an operation used in calculus in which the derivative of a function or variable is determined; the inverse of integrationSee integration (def. 6)
any process in which a mixture of materials separates out partially or completely into its constituent parts, as in the cooling and solidification of a magma into two or more different rock types or in the gradual separation of an originally homogeneous earth into crust, mantle, and core
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

Medicine definitions for differentiation

differentiation

[dĭf′ə-rĕn′shē-āshən]

n.

The acquisition or possession of a character or function different from that of the original type.specialization
differential diagnosis

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for differentiation

differentiation

[dĭf′ə-rĕn′shē-āshən]

In calculus, the process of computing the derivative of a function. Compare integration.
The process by which cells or parts of an organism change during development to serve a specific function. The cells of an animal in its early embryonic phase, for example, are identical at first but develop by differentiation into specific tissues, such as bone, heart muscle, and skin. The factors determining the differentiation of any particular cell are not well understood, but in deuterostomes (vertebrates and other complex animals) they include the location of the cell relative to other cells.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.