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[dif-uh-ren-shee-eyt] /ˌdɪf əˈrɛn ʃiˌeɪt/
verb (used with object), differentiated, differentiating.
to form or mark differently from other such things; distinguish.
to change; alter.
to perceive the difference in or between.
to make different by modification, as a biological species.
Mathematics. to obtain the differential or the derivative of.
verb (used without object), differentiated, differentiating.
to become unlike or dissimilar; change in character.
to make a distinction.
Biology. (of cells or tissues) to change from relatively generalized to specialized kinds, during development.
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
1. set off. See distinguish. 3. separate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for differentiated
  • The only thing that differentiated humans from animals was that they had the ability to speak, think, and reason.
  • Some comments have talked about motion but not differentiated between linear and circular motion.
  • The authors suggest that the five models can be differentiated through observations.
  • The system hinges on the ability to use a differentiated enough pattern so each gesture can be looked up quickly in a database.
  • Cinema is evolving from a commodity into a business that sells differentiated products at varied prices.
  • The nuclear membrane and nucleolus are also differentiated during this phase.
  • Even over thousands of generations human groups have not differentiated in any substantial way.
  • It's because the cells were already once fully differentiated, and you can't yet undo all of that.
  • Any signs of hallucinations or delusions must be differentiated from normal childhood fantasies.
  • It still differentiated itself on the purity and quality of its experience.
British Dictionary definitions for differentiated


(transitive) to serve to distinguish between
when intr, often foll by between. to perceive, show, or make a difference (in or between); discriminate
(intransitive) to become dissimilar or distinct
(maths) to perform a differentiation on (a quantity, expression, etc)
(intransitive) (of unspecialized cells, etc) to change during development to more specialized forms
Derived Forms
differentiator, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for differentiated



1816, from Medieval Latin differentiatus, past participle of differentiare, from Latin differentia (see difference).

Originally a mathematical term; transitive 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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