distinguish

[dih-sting-gwish]
verb (used with object)
1.
to mark off as different (often followed by from or by ): He was distinguished from the other boys by his height.
2.
to recognize as distinct or different; recognize the salient or individual features or characteristics of: It is hard to distinguish her from her twin sister.
3.
to perceive clearly by sight or other sense; discern; recognize: He could not distinguish many of the words.
4.
to set apart as different; be a distinctive characteristic of; characterize: It is his Italian accent that distinguishes him.
5.
to make prominent, conspicuous, or eminent: to distinguish oneself in battle.
6.
to divide into classes; classify: Let us distinguish the various types of metaphor.
7.
Archaic. to single out for or honor with special attention.
verb (used without object)
8.
to indicate or show a difference (usually followed by between ).
9.
to recognize or note differences; discriminate.

Origin:
1555–65; extension, by -ish2, of Middle English disting(u)en (< Anglo-French, Middle French distinguer) < Latin distinguere; see distinct

distinguishable, adjective
distinguishableness, distinguishability, noun
distinguishably, adverb
distinguisher, noun
distinguishment, noun
interdistinguish, verb (used with object)
nondistinguishable, adjective
nondistinguishableness, noun
nondistinguishably, adverb
predistinguish, verb (used with object)
redistinguish, verb
undistinguishable, adjective

distinctive, distinguishable, distinguished.


2. Distinguish, differentiate, discriminate suggest an attempt to analyze characteristic features or qualities of things. To distinguish is to recognize the characteristic features belonging to a thing: to distinguish a light cruiser from a heavy cruiser. To discriminate is to perceive the particular, nice, or exact differences between things, to determine wherein these differences consist, and to estimate their significance: to discriminate prejudiced from unprejudiced testimony. To differentiate is to point out exactly and in detail the differences between (usually) two things: The symptoms of both diseases are so similar that it is hard to differentiate one from another.


2. confuse.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
distinguish (dɪˈstɪŋɡwɪʃ)
 
vb (when intr, foll by between or among)
1.  to make, show, or recognize a difference or differences (between or among); differentiate (between)
2.  to be a distinctive feature of; characterize
3.  to make out; perceive
4.  to mark for a special honour or title
5.  to make (oneself) noteworthy: he distinguished himself by his cowardice
6.  to classify; categorize: we distinguished three species
 
[C16: from Latin distinguere to separate, discriminate]
 
dis'tinguishable
 
adj
 
dis'tinguishably
 
adv
 
dis'tinguisher
 
n
 
dis'tinguishing
 
adj
 
dis'tinguishingly
 
adv

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

distinguish
1560s, from M.Fr. distinguiss-, stem of distinguer, from L. distinguere "to separate between, separate by pricking," from dis- "apart" + -stinguere "to prick." The suffix -ish is due to the influence of many verbs in which it is the equivalent of O.Fr. -iss, ultimately from L. inchoative suffix -iscere
(this is also the case in extinguish, admonish, and astonish). Related: Distinguishing.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
And there will be looking in ancient rock to find distinguishable remains.
It became generalized to mean any area into which any distinguishable group was
  restricted, by law or economic necessity.
That's a lot of if's and not otherwise distinguishable from any other period
  before or after.
Species are distinguishable by the formidable crown of horns adorning their
  head and the numerous spines across their back.
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