- 1Recognize or treat (someone or something) as different: the child is perfectly capable of distinguishing reality from fantasyMore example sentences
- What I have difficulty with is distinguishing different noises in loud areas.
- Pinker suggests that our love of music may have developed out of a similar evolutionary need to distinguish different sounds.
- The software is also speed-sensitive, so it can distinguish the different conditions in city driving and faster roads or motorways.
- 1.1 [no object] Recognize or point out a difference: we must distinguish between two kinds of holidayMore example sentences
- These differences are sufficient to distinguish between the two species.
- As investors, we need to be able to distinguish between interesting scientific discoveries and commercially viable projects.
- This difference is very significant because it helps you distinguish between vertical and horizontal pipes.
- 1.2Be an identifying characteristic or mark of: what distinguishes sport from games?More example sentences
separate, set apart, make distinctive, make different; single out, mark off, demarcate, delimit, delineate; characterize, individualize, individuate, identify, designate, categorize, classifydistinctive, differentiating, discriminating, determining; individualistic, particular, peculiar, singular, idiosyncratic, unique, noteworthy, different, uncommon, extraordinary, original; characteristic, typical
- Several features distinguish the Posimetric design from other feeding technology.
- Some of the characteristics that distinguish the two are intrinsic.
- A suite of characteristics distinguishes Orconectes neglectus from other northeastern crayfishes.
- 2Manage to discern (something barely perceptible): it was too dark to distinguish anything more than their vague shapesMore example sentences
- I squinted into the darkness, barely distinguishing anything.
- To his credit, Hornby manages to distinguish the four voices well.
- The loud phone rings were barely able to be distinguished.
- 3 (distinguish oneself) Make oneself worthy of respect by one’s behaviour or achievements: many distinguished themselves in the fight against HitlerMore example sentences
- The young GM plant has already distinguished itself by a remarkable achievement in quality.
- The suit dragged on for years during which the tribes and government did not distinguish themselves by their behavior.
- Those who excel in this struggle distinguish themselves through nothing more exotic than boundless cunning and ruthlessness.
late 16th century: formed irregularly from French distinguer or Latin distinguere, from dis- 'apart' + stinguere 'put out' (from a base meaning 'prick').