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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
1810-1820
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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for differentiating
  • In this case, language meddled in the simple task of differentiating among hues.
  • Professionals are simply getting better at differentiating our peculiar strain of widely-varying behaviors.
  • These cells can be coaxed into differentiating into many other types of cells by the application of appropriate growth factors.
  • Even if a potential differentiating mechanism could be identified, the case for group differences fails for a second reason.
  • At this point, the film provides some helpful guidelines for differentiating flesh-and-blood doctors from imaginary ones.
  • She said the army appeared to be acting with restraint, differentiating between peaceful protesters and looters.
  • Please be part of the solution by stating and differentiating what is really happening.
British Dictionary definitions for differentiating

differentiate

/ˌdɪfəˈrɛnʃɪˌeɪt/
verb
1.
(transitive) to serve to distinguish between
2.
when intr, often foll by between. to perceive, show, or make a difference (in or between); discriminate
3.
(intransitive) to become dissimilar or distinct
4.
(maths) to perform a differentiation on (a quantity, expression, etc)
5.
(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
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Word Origin and History for differentiating

differentiate

v.

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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