a person or thing that differentiates.
Computers. an electronic device whose output signal is proportional to the derivative of its input signal.
Electricity, Electronics. a transducer or circuit (differentiator circuit) whose output is proportional to the rate of change of the input signal.

1885–90; differentiate + -or2

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World English Dictionary
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

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Encyclopedia Britannica


a device or set of components for performing the mathematical operation of differentiation-i.e., supplying an output proportional to the derivative of the input with respect to one or more variables. The many common examples of mechanical differentiators in which a displacement is differentiated with respect to time include speedometers and generators. In such devices, the derivative is frequently measured by deflections of spring-loaded elements

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Also, branding of environmental initiatives will become commonplace and less of a differentiator in the long term.
It was easy to add features and buttons and be seen as a good differentiator.
Modify the design to share adders in differentiator section.
We offer a full range of estimating and project management services as a key differentiator for our customers.
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