- made conspicuous by excellence; noted; eminent; famous: a distinguished scholar.
- having an air of distinction, dignity, or eminence: a distinguished old gentleman.
- conspicuous; marked.
Origin of distinguished
- 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
Antonyms for distinguish
Related Words for distinguishednotable, noble, renowned, venerable, honored, remarkable, brilliant, great, famed, illustrious, eminent, well-known, reputable, acclaimed, noted, dignified, prominent, esteemed, name, striking
Examples from the Web for distinguished
Contemporary Examples of distinguished
A former superintendent of Milwaukee schools, he is now a Distinguished Professor of Education at Marquette University.Dr. Howard Fuller's Injustice Education
December 21, 2014
"Clive has had a fantastic and distinguished career so we listen to what he has to say," he said.Victim: I Watched British MPs Rape and Murder Young Boys
December 18, 2014
A large number of detectives were involved, with long and distinguished records, from three different squads.The Myth of the Central Park Five
October 19, 2014
She struck back at the “professional” historians more than once over a long and distinguished career.Barbara Tuchman’s ‘The Guns of August’ Is Still WWI’s Peerless Chronicle
James A. Warren
September 29, 2014
Stephen Eric Bronner is a Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University.Why Bigotry Persists
Stephen Eric Bronner
September 28, 2014
Historical Examples of distinguished
Doesn't the baron look just too distinguished beside Mr. Higbee?The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
They gave him a title which distinguished him from the others.Ancient Man
Hendrik Willem van Loon
Yet not so much a slave to it, she distinguished, as to Martin's absorption in its development.Dust
Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
The three distinguished characters were a spendthrift, a bailiff, and a dun.Tales And Novels, Volume 4 (of 10)
Then all was in such uproar, that no voices could be distinguished.Tales And Novels, Volume 5 (of 10)
- noble or dignified in appearance or behaviour
- eminent; famous; celebrated
- (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 for distinguish
c.1600, "separate," past participle adjective from distinguish. Sense of "famous, celebrated," recorded from 1714; meaning "having an air of distinction" is from 1748.
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.).