Definition of discriminate in English:

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Pronunciation: /dɪˈskrɪmɪneɪt/


[no object]
1Recognize a distinction; differentiate: babies can discriminate between different facial expressions
More example sentences
  • They do not differentiate or discriminate between domestic, social and public violence, viewing all of them as equally violative of human rights.
  • Unfortunately, this research focused on social differences and did not discriminate between denominations.
  • Thus, we can use measures of skewness for distributions of expression differences for classified genes to discriminate between models.
differentiate, distinguish, draw/recognize a distinction, tell the difference, discern a difference;
separate, tell apart;
separate the sheep from the goats, separate the wheat from the chaff
1.1 [with object] Perceive or constitute the difference in or between: features that discriminate this species from other gastropods
More example sentences
  • They find that birds are better able to discriminate differences in nectar concentrations at relatively low concentrations than at high concentrations.
  • A concept may be defined as a class of stimuli such that an organism generalizes among all stimuli within the class but discriminates them from those in other classes.
  • The second canonical axis discriminates among all three dialects using a combination of the features of the W element.
2Make an unjust or prejudicial distinction in the treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of race, sex, or age: existing employment policies discriminate against women
More example sentences
  • The Race Relations Act 1976 makes it unlawful to discriminate against anyone on grounds of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins.
  • Presumably, there are also straight people in those counties who would prefer to live in a society that did not discriminate against people on grounds of their sexuality.
  • New legislation which will make it illegal for businesses to discriminate against workers on grounds of age is due to come into force next year.
be biased, show prejudice, be prejudiced;
treat differently, treat as inferior, treat unfairly, put at a disadvantage, disfavour, be intolerant towards;



Pronunciation: /dɪˈskrɪmɪnətli/
Example sentences
  • Nobody likes being indiscriminately judged, but being discriminately judged feels even worse.
  • The City of Calgary hasn't banned the use of pesticides and herbicides, but it does want them to be used more discriminately.
  • Investors sell indiscriminately on the way down, but they buy very discriminately on the way up.


Pronunciation: /dɪˈskrɪmɪnətɪv/
Example sentences
  • But it is no use satisfying the listeners of our conceptual talk if we cannot make any related changes in the real world of racially discriminative actions and consequences.
  • In the market-relations approach deemed to be egalitarian, racial inequality results from irrational prejudice or discriminative monopolistic practices.
  • The initial step to deal with discrimination is to introduce a structural change in discriminative legislation and redistribution of economic and political resources.


Early 17th century: from Latin discriminat- 'distinguished between', from the verb discriminare, from discrimen 'distinction', from the verb discernere (see discern).

Words that rhyme with discriminate

eliminate, incriminate, recriminate

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: dis|crim¦in|ate

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