(New American Roget's College Thesaurus)
v. t. differentiate, characterize; separate, discriminate; discern, pick out; honor. See difference, taste, vision.
(Roget's IV) v.
1. [To make distinctions]
Syn. discriminate, discriminate between, differentiate, classify, specify, identify, individualize, characterize, separate, tell apart, demarcate, divide, collate, sort out, set apart, mark off, select, see the difference, exercise discrimination, make a distinction, single out, sift, draw the line, tell from, pick and choose, tell which is which, separate the wheat from the chaff*, separate the sheep from the goats*; see also classify , define 1 , 2 .
2. [To discern]
Syn. detect, discriminate, notice; see discover , recognize 1 , see 1 .
3. [To provide an identification]
Syn. identify, label, tag; see mark 2 , name 1 , 2 .
4. [To bestow honor upon]
Syn. pay tribute to, signalize, celebrate, ennoble; see admire 1 , praise 1 .
See Synonym Study at discern . Syn.- distinguish implies a recognizing or marking apart from others by special features or characteristic qualities [ to distinguish good from evil ] ; discriminate suggests a distinguishing of minute or subtle differences between similar things [ to discriminate scents ] ; differentiate suggests the noting or ascertaining of specific differences between things by comparing in detail their distinguishing qualities or features
(Roget's 3 Superthesaurus) v.
1. see the difference differentiate, discriminate, separate, judge, tell apart, ascertain, characterize, classify.
2. discern make out, perceive, see, notice, detect, observe, apprehend, catch, spot, recognize.
(Roget's Thesaurus II) verb 1. To recognize as being different: differentiate, discern, discriminate, know, separate, tell. See SAME. 2. To perceive and fix the identity of, especially with difficulty: descry, discern, make out, pick out, spot. See SEE. 3. To perceive with a special effort of the senses or the mind: descry, detect, discern, mark, mind, note, notice, observe, remark, see. See KNOWLEDGE, SEE. 4. To make noticeable or different: characterize, differentiate, discriminate, individualize, mark, set apart, signalize, singularize. See SAME. 5. To cause to be eminent or recognized: elevate, ennoble, exalt, honor, signalize. See RESPECT.

English dictionary for students. 2013.

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  • 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

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  • 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

  • distinguish — [v1] tell the difference analyze, ascertain, categorize, characterize, classify, collate, decide, demarcate, determinate, determine, diagnose, diagnosticate, differentiate, discriminate, divide, estimate, extricate, figure out, finger*, identify …   New thesaurus

  • distinguish — ► VERB 1) recognize, show, or treat as different. 2) manage to discern (something barely perceptible). 3) be an identifying characteristic of. 4) (distinguish oneself) make oneself worthy of respect. DERIVATIVES distinguishable adjective …   English terms dictionary

  • Distinguish — Dis*tin guish, v. i. 1. To make distinctions; to perceive the difference; to exercise discrimination; with between; as, a judge distinguishes between cases apparently similar, but differing in principle. [1913 Webster] 2. To become distinguished… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • distinguish — 1560s, from M.Fr. distinguiss , stem of distinguer, or directly from L. distinguere to separate between, separate by pricking, from dis apart (see DIS (Cf. dis )) + stinguere to prick (see EXTINGUISH (Cf. extinguish), and Cf. L. instinguere …   Etymology dictionary

  • distinguish */*/*/ — UK [dɪˈstɪŋɡwɪʃ] / US verb Word forms distinguish : present tense I/you/we/they distinguish he/she/it distinguishes present participle distinguishing past tense distinguished past participle distinguished 1) [intransitive/transitive] to recognize …   English dictionary

  • distinguish — dis|tin|guish [ dı stıŋgwıʃ ] verb *** 1. ) intransitive or transitive to recognize the differences between things: DIFFERENTIATE: He learned to distinguish a great variety of birds, animals, and plants. distinguish between: They concluded that… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • distinguish — 01. Children under the age of 4 cannot always [distinguish] between the truth and a lie. 02. Witnesses to the crime said the suspect had no [distinguishing] features. 03. The Beatles [distinguished] themselves as perhaps the most important… …   Grammatical examples in English

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