differentiate

[dif-uh-ren-shee-eyt] /ˌdɪf əˈrɛn ʃiˌeɪt/
verb (used with object), differentiated, differentiating.
1.
to form or mark differently from other such things; distinguish.
2.
to change; alter.
3.
to perceive the difference in or between.
4.
to make different by modification, as a biological species.
5.
Mathematics. to obtain the differential or the derivative of.
verb (used without object), differentiated, differentiating.
6.
to become unlike or dissimilar; change in character.
7.
to make a distinction.
8.
Biology. (of cells or tissues) to change from relatively generalized to specialized kinds, during development.
Origin
1810–20; < Medieval Latin differentiātus distinguished (past participle of differentiāre), equivalent to Latin different(ia) difference + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
differentiation, noun
interdifferentiate, verb (used with object), interdifferentiated, interdifferentiating.
redifferentiate, verb, redifferentiated, redifferentiating.
self-differentiating, adjective
undifferentiated, adjective
Synonyms
1. set off. See distinguish. 3. separate.
Example Sentences for differentiate
We see how people compartmentalize themselves and differentiate themselves from animals to express power, control and superiority.
He could differentiate colors and shapes and knew more than 100 words.
One of the challenges was to differentiate them all, give them all things to do and turn them into clear-cut characters.
Scientists have long been studying the process of how mammalian stem cells differentiate to form specific types of brain cells.
But the car-rental industry doesn't seem to differentiate.
It is important to differentiate between the two.
It grows ever harder, he says, for companies to differentiate their products by quality or price.
The geological survey's tests did not differentiate the dust by particle size.
The scientific method remains the best tool we have to differentiate the two.
We need to differentiate between school and job.
British Dictionary definitions for differentiate
differentiate (ˌdɪfəˈrɛnʃɪˌeɪt)
 
vb (when intr, often foll by between)
1.  (tr) to serve to distinguish between
2.  to perceive, show, or make a difference (in or between); discriminate
3.  (intr) to become dissimilar or distinct
4.  maths to perform a differentiation on (a quantity, expression, etc)
5.  (intr) (of unspecialized cells, etc) to change during development to more specialized forms
 
differ'entiator
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin and History for differentiate
differentiate
1816, formed from different on model of Fr. différencier. Originally a mathematical term, trans. and non-technical sense of "discriminate between" is from 1876. Earlier, difference had been used as a verb in this sense. Related: Differentiated; differentiating; differentiation.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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