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differentiate

[dif-uh-ren-shee-eyt]
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verb (used with object), dif·fer·en·ti·at·ed, dif·fer·en·ti·at·ing.
  1. to form or mark differently from other such things; distinguish.
  2. to change; alter.
  3. to perceive the difference in or between.
  4. to make different by modification, as a biological species.
  5. Mathematics. to obtain the differential or the derivative of.
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verb (used without object), dif·fer·en·ti·at·ed, dif·fer·en·ti·at·ing.
  1. to become unlike or dissimilar; change in character.
  2. to make a distinction.
  3. Biology. (of cells or tissues) to change from relatively generalized to specialized kinds, during development.
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Origin of differentiate

1810–20; < Medieval Latin differentiātus distinguished (past participle of differentiāre), equivalent to Latin different(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

Synonyms

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1. set off. 3. separate.

Synonym study

1. See distinguish.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

comparablealikerelatedidenticalanalogousreciprocalakincorrespondingagnatecognatetwinclosematchingsameuniformconformingresemblingequivalentconsonantparallel

Examples from the Web for undifferentiated

Historical Examples

  • Neither is blinded by the force of undifferentiated sex-attraction.

    Sex=The Unknown Quantity

    Ali Nomad

  • Is it undifferentiated life or is it a specialized form of life?

    The Mystery of Space

    Robert T. Browne

  • Before this training, soul and spirit are undifferentiated masses.

    The Way of Initiation

    Rudolf Steiner

  • But outside England catches and canons were undifferentiated.

  • To the extent that prepositions are affixed to nouns, prepositions and nouns are undifferentiated.


British Dictionary definitions for undifferentiated

undifferentiated

adjective
  1. not having any distinguishing featuresan undifferentiated mass
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differentiate

verb
  1. (tr) to serve to distinguish between
  2. (when intr, often foll by between) to perceive, show, or make a difference (in or between); discriminate
  3. (intr) to become dissimilar or distinct
  4. maths to perform a differentiation on (a quantity, expression, etc)
  5. (intr) (of unspecialized cells, etc) to change during development to more specialized forms
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Derived Formsdifferentiator, noun
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 undifferentiated

adj.

1862, from un- (1) "not" + past participle of differentiate.

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differentiate

v.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

undifferentiated in Medicine

undifferentiated

(ŭn′dĭf-ə-rĕnshē-ā′tĭd)
adj.
  1. Having no special structure or function; primitive; embryonic.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.