Definitions of distinguish

  1. identify as in botany or biology, for example
  2. be a distinctive feature, attribute, or trait; sometimes in a very positive sense; " His modesty distinguishes him form his peers"
  3. mark as different; " We distinguish several kinds of maple"
  4. detect with the senses; " The fleeing convicts were picked out of the darkness by the watchful prison guards"; " I can't make out the faces in this photograph"
  5. make conspicuous or noteworthy
  6. Not set apart from others by visible marks; to make distinctive or discernible by exhibiting differences; to mark off by some characteristic.
  7. To recognize or discern by marks, signs, or characteristic quality or qualities; to know and discriminate ( anything) from other things with which it might be confounded; as, to distinguish the sound of a drum.
  8. To constitute a difference; to make to differ.
  9. To become distinguished or distinctive; to make one's self or itself discernible.
  10. To separate from others by a mark of honor; to make eminent or known; to confer distinction upon; - with by or for.
  11. To make distinctions; to perceive the difference; to exercise discrimination; - with between; as, a judge distinguishes between cases apparently similar, but differing in principle.
  12. To separate from others by some mark of honor or preference; designate by special characteristics; see clearly.
  13. To make a distinction: with between.
  14. To mark off, set apart: to recognize by characteristic qualities: to discern critically: to separate by a mark of honor: to make eminent or known.
  15. To make or show distinctions or differences.
  16. To note the difference between; discern; make conspicuous.
  17. To note as different; discriminate.
  18. To make eminent.
  19. To discriminate; followed by between.
  20. Distinguishable.
  21. To indicate difference by some external mark; to recognize by characteristic marks; to separate by any mark or quality which constitutes difference; to discern critically; to separate from others by some mark of honour or preference; to make eminent or known.
  22. To make a distinction.
  23. To indicate difference by some external mark; to separate or divide by some mark or quality; to perceive a difference by the senses; to make eminent or known; to signalise; to find the difference.

Usage examples for distinguish

  1. I cannot remember, not enough to distinguish between them." – The Rome Express by Arthur Griffiths
  2. The figure, so far as he could distinguish it, was more like that of a boy than a man. – The Devil's Paw by E. Phillips Oppenheim
  3. She yielded too easily to affection, and she did not readily distinguish between affection and the show of it. – The Truants by A. E. W. (Alfred Edward Woodley) Mason
  4. For fifteen days he was so completely blind that he could not even distinguish light. – Life of St. Francis of Assisi by Paul Sabatier
  5. I marched often near the brave Marshal Lefebvre, who seemed very fond of me, and said to me in his German- French, in speaking of the Emperor, " He is surrounded by a set of who do not tell the truth; he does not distinguish sufficiently his good from his bad servants. – The Project Gutenberg Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte by Bourrienne, Constant, and Stewarton
  6. It is easy to distinguish the young ladies- many of them beautifully dressed, and handsome on first acquaintance- who have been bred on this kind of book. – The Complete Essays of C. D. Warner by Charles Dudley Warner
  7. There was one mark on the child, which, he said, would be certain to distinguish her. – The Women of the Arabs by Henry Harris Jessup
  8. This child, he thought, who cannot tell me why it is necessary to take two apples from four apples, is nevertheless able to distinguish between one cow and another. – Autumn by Robert Nathan
  9. I listened whenever I heard the street- door open; at last I imagined I could distinguish Mr. Venables' step, going out. – Maria The Wrongs of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft
  10. And, in particular, he was listening for one voice which he had not as yet been able to distinguish. – The Heart of Unaga by Ridgwell Cullum
  11. We did not much distinguish in those days between the two. – The Adventure of Living by John St. Loe Strachey
  12. Now he could easily recognize McNally, and without being able to distinguish words could even hear him talking. – The Short Line War by Merwin-Webster
  13. Here at Lochias for the last week we have quite forgotten to distinguish day from night, and a blessing can never come too late. – The Complete Historical Romances of Georg Ebers by Georg Ebers
  14. From where he stood he could plainly distinguish the tall figure of MacAndrew. – The Red Rat's Daughter by Guy Boothby
  15. The answer was so faint that no one save Mrs. Quigg could distinguish the word. – The Shadow World by Hamlin Garland
  16. I would never distinguish myself in any profession. – Beautiful Joe by Marshall Saunders
  17. He could not distinguish their faces and regretted this, because it would have been useful to know the men again, and when they began to talk their voices were too low for him to hear what they said. – Carmen's Messenger by Harold Bindloss
  18. He could not distinguish Madge from Nina. – His Unknown Wife by Louis Tracy
  19. Sometimes called Red River of the North, to distinguish it from the Red River of Texas. – The Makers of Canada: Index and Dictionary of Canadian History by Various
  20. Though I was too far off to distinguish their features, I saw by the dress of one that he was a trapper, but could not make out the other. – Adventures in the Far West by W.H.G. Kingston