Dictionary > Distinguish


1. Not set apart from others by visible marks; to make distinctive or discernible by exhibiting differences; to mark off by some characteristic. Not more distinguished by her purple vest, Than by the charming features of her face. (Dryden) Milton has distinguished the sweetbrier and the eglantine. (Nares)
2. To separate by definition of terms or logical division of a subject with regard to difference; as, to distinguish sounds into high and low. Moses distinguished the causes of the flood into those that belong to the heavens, and those that belong to the earth. (t. Burnet)
3. To recognize or discern by marks, signs, or characteristic quality or qualities; to know and discriminate (anything) from other things with which it might be confounded; as, to distinguish the sound of a drum. We are enabled to distinguish good from evil, as well as truth from falsehood. (Watts) Nor more can you distinguish of a man, Than of his outward show. (Shak)
4. To constitute a difference; to make to differ. Who distinguisheth thee? (1 cor. Iv. 7. (Douay version))
5. To separate from others by a mark of honor; to make eminent or known; to confer distinction upon; with by or for.To distinguish themselves by means never tried before.
Synonym: to mark, discriminate, differentiate, characterise, discern, perceive, signalize, honor, glori
Origin: f. Distinguer, L. Distinguere, distinctum; di- = dis- – stinguere to quench, extinguish; prob. Orig, to prick, and so akin to g. Stechen, E. Stick, and perh. Sting. Cf. Extinguish.

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