Definition of differentiate in English:

differentiate

Line breaks: dif¦fer|en|ti¦ate
Pronunciation: /ˌdɪfəˈrɛnʃɪeɪt
 
/

verb

[with object]
1Recognize or ascertain what makes (someone or something) different: children can differentiate the past from the present
More example sentences
  • This is the first challenge in the process of managing spam: how to get a computer to analyze these strings to recognize and differentiate the welcome from the unwelcome emails.
  • It is not yet possible for patients to recognise faces, but they can at least differentiate large objects that are moving in their environment.
  • We will also attempt to determine the line that differentiates the normal from the abnormal, and how to deal with each of these cases as a result of this demarcation.
1.1 [no object] (differentiate between) Identify differences between (two or more things or people): he is unable to differentiate between fantasy and reality
More example sentences
  • We experienced some difficulty identifying whale species during the count, especially differentiating between bowhead and gray whales.
  • However, neither system accurately identifies vehicles needed for wartime missions or differentiates between wartime- and peacetime-use vehicles.
  • While most of us can easily identify a cactus, it may be harder to differentiate between an agave and an aloe.
Synonyms
distinguish, discriminate, make a distinction, draw a distinction, see a difference, discern a difference, tell the difference; discern, tell apart, recognize, identify, pick out, determine, contrast
1.2Make (someone or something) appear different or distinct: little now differentiates the firm’s products from its rivals
More example sentences
  • Distinct characteristics also differentiate this family of plants.
  • We distinguish four dimensions that differentiate federal systems.
  • In summary, the modern international system displays six sharp distinctions that differentiate it from those of the ancient and classical world.
Synonyms
2 technical Make or become different in the process of growth or development: [with object]: the receptors are developed and differentiated into sense organs [no object]: the cells differentiate into a wide variety of cell types
More example sentences
  • Proecdysial growth of the limb bud consists of rapid growth of the muscle cells that were differentiated during the basal growth period.
  • By developing suitable tests with embryonic stem cells as they differentiate to germ cells we can investigate the action of these chemicals in the laboratory.
  • Recent reports suggest that adult stem cells can differentiate into developmentally unrelated cell types.
Synonyms
transform, metamorphose, evolve, convert, change, become different, modify, alter, adapt
3 Mathematics Transform (a function) into its derivative.
More example sentences
  • In his reply Leibniz gave some details of the principles of his differential calculus including the rule for differentiating a function of a function.
  • We will also think about how functions are built from component parts, and how we differentiate a function by considering these parts individually and how they are combined.
  • When trying to differentiate a complicated function, the method is to decompose it into simpler components, and work with these separately.

Origin

early 19th century: from medieval Latin differentiat- 'carried away from', from the verb differentiare, from differentia (see differentia).

Derivatives

differentiator

noun
More example sentences
  • Traditional differentiators, such as lease expensive cost, are not considered as high a priority as customer elements.
  • Customer service excellence is one of the major differentiators in India's highly competitive insurance market.
  • The performance gap between the cars will narrow, so the driver will become a more significant differentiator in success - and that will make drivers a more valuable commodity.

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