[ dis-tang-gey, dih-stang-gey; French dee-stan-gey ]
/ ˌdɪs tæŋˈgeɪ, dɪˈstæŋ geɪ; French di stɛ̃ˈgeɪ /


having an air of distinction; distinguished.

Origin of distingué

1805–15; < French, adj. use of past participle of distinguer to distinguish
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for distingue

British Dictionary definitions for distingue


/ French (distɛ̃ɡe) /


distinguished or noble
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

Word Origin and History for distingue



"having an air of distinction," 1813 (in Byron), from French distingué, literally "distinguished," past participle of distinguer (see distinguish). The girls I knew had sad and sullen gray faces
With distingué traces
That used to be there -- You could see where they'd been washed away
By too many through the day
Twelve o'clock tales.

["Lush Life," Billy Strayhorn, age 17]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper