[ dih-skrim-uh-ney-shuhn ]
See synonyms for discrimination on Thesaurus.com
  1. an act or instance of discriminating, or of making a distinction.

  2. treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit: racial and religious intolerance and discrimination.

  1. the power of making fine distinctions; discriminating judgment: She chose the colors with great discrimination.

  2. Archaic. something that serves to differentiate.

Origin of discrimination

First recorded in 1640–50; from Latin discrīminātiōn-, stem of discrīminātiō “division, separation,” literally “a dividing,” equivalent to discrīmināt(us) “separated” (past participle of discrīmināre “to divide up, separate”; see discriminate) + -ion

Other words for discrimination

Other words from discrimination

  • dis·crim·i·na·tion·al, adjective
  • an·ti·dis·crim·i·na·tion, adjective
  • non·dis·crim·i·na·tion, noun
  • pre·dis·crim·i·na·tion, noun
  • self-dis·crim·i·na·tion, noun

Words Nearby discrimination

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use discrimination in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for discrimination


/ (dɪˌskrɪmɪˈneɪʃən) /

  1. unfair treatment of a person, racial group, minority, etc; action based on prejudice

  2. subtle appreciation in matters of taste

  1. the ability to see fine distinctions and differences

  2. electronics the selection of a signal having a particular frequency, amplitude, phase, etc, effected by the elimination of other signals by means of a discriminator

Derived forms of discrimination

  • discriminational, adjective

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