differentiate, distinguish

differentiate, distinguish
Each of these words suggests an attempt to note and analyze characteristic features of some item or person. Differentiate involves pointing out exactly and in detail the differences or partial similarities of two things being considered: "It is difficult to differentiate between the symptoms of pneumonia and influenza." "One who takes up the study of cells must quickly learn to differentiate among them in size and structure." Distinguish has much the same meaning as differentiate but implies general recognition of characteristics that establish the identity of something without giving attention to specific details: "It is easy to distinguish an elephant from a buffalo."

Dictionary of problem words and expressions. . 1975.

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  • differentiate — *distinguish, discriminate, demarcate Analogous words: *separate, divide, part: *detach, disengage Antonyms: confuse Contrasted words: confound, *mistake …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • distinguish — dis|tin|guish W3S3 [dıˈstıŋgwıʃ] v [Date: 1500 1600; : French; Origin: distinguer, from Latin distinguere to separate using a sharp pointed object ] 1.) [I and T] to recognize and understand the difference between two or more things or people =… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • distinguish — See differentiate. See differentiate, distinguish …   Dictionary of problem words and expressions

  • differentiate — See differentiate, distinguish …   Dictionary of problem words and expressions

  • distinguish — dis·tin·guish vt: to identify or explain differences in or from distinguish ed the cases on factual grounds Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996. distinguish …   Law dictionary

  • distinguish — 1 Distinguish, differentiate, discriminate, demarcate are synonymous when they mean to point out or mark the differences between things that are or seem to be much alike or closely related. Distinguish presupposes sources of confusion; the things …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • distinguish — [di stiŋ′gwish] vt. [< L distinguere, to separate, discriminate < dis , apart + stinguere, to prick < IE base * steig , to prick, pierce (> STICK, Ger sticken, to embroider, Gr stigma) + ISH, sense 2] 1. to separate or mark off by… …   English World dictionary

  • differentiate — I verb characterize, classify, contrast, demarcate, discern between, discriminate, distinguish, diversify, draw the line, exercise discrimination, make a distinction, make distinctive, mark off by differences, mark out, particularize, perceive… …   Law dictionary

  • Distinguish — Dis*tin guish, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Distinguished}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Distinguishing}.] [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.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • differentiate — [dif΄ər en′shē āt΄] vt. differentiated, differentiating [< ML differentiatus, pp. of differentiare < L differentia: see DIFFERENCE] 1. to constitute a difference in or between 2. to make unlike; develop specialized differences in 3. to… …   English World dictionary

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