verb (used without object),dif·fer·en·ti·at·ed,dif·fer·en·ti·at·ing.
to become unlike or dissimilar; change in character.
to make a distinction.
Biology. (of cells or tissues) to change from relatively generalized to specialized kinds, during development.
Origin of differentiate
1810–20; < Medieval Latindifferentiātus distinguished (past participle of differentiāre), equivalent to Latindifferent(ia) difference + -ātus-ate1
Related formsdif·fer·en·ti·a·tion, nounin·ter·dif·fer·en·ti·ate, verb (used with object),in·ter·dif·fer·en·ti·at·ed,in·ter·dif·fer·en·ti·at·ing.re·dif·fer·en·ti·ate, verb,re·dif·fer·en·ti·at·ed,re·dif·fer·en·ti·at·ing.self-dif·fer·en·ti·at·ing, adjectiveun·dif·fer·en·ti·at·ed, adjective
1816, from Medieval Latin differentiatus, past participle of differentiare, from Latin differentia (see difference).
Originally a mathematical term; transitive and non-technical sense of "discriminate between" is from 1876. Earlier, difference had been used as a verb in this sense. Related: Differentiated; differentiating; differentiation.