From Middle English distingwen, from Old French distinguer, from Latin distinguere (“to separate, divide, distinguish, set off, adorn, literally mark off”), from di-, dis- (“apart”) + stinguere. Compare extinguish.
- enPR: dĭ-stĭngʹgwĭsh, IPA(key): /dɪˈstɪŋ.ɡwɪʃ/
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɪŋɡwɪʃ
- Hyphenation: dis‧tin‧guish
- To recognize someone or something as different from others based on its characteristics.
- 1922, De Lacy O'Leary, Arabic Thought and Its Place in History:
- It had begun to take a leading place even in the days of the Ptolemies, and in scientific, as distinguished from purely literary work, it had assumed a position of primary importance early in the Christian era.
- 2012 March-April, Jeremy Bernstein, “A Palette of Particles”, in American Scientist, volume 100, number 2, page 146:
- The physics of elementary particles in the 20th century was distinguished by the observation of particles whose existence had been predicted by theorists sometimes decades earlier.
- To see someone or something clearly or distinctly.
- To make oneself noticeably different or better from others through accomplishments.
- The soldier distinguished himself in combat and received a medal.
- 1784: William Jones, The Description and Use of a New Portable Orrery, &c., PREFACE
- THE favourable reception the Orrery has met with from Perſons of the firſt diſtinction, and from Gentlemen and Ladies in general, has induced me to add to it ſeveral new improvements in order to give it a degree of Perfection; and diſtinguiſh it from others; which by Piracy, or Imitation, may be introduced to the Public.
- (transitive, obsolete) To make to differ.
- 1749, The New Testament of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. […] Newly reviſed, and corrected according to the Clementin Edition of the Scriptures (Douay–Rheims Bible, Challoner Revision), 1 Corinthians 4:7, page 317:
- For who diſtinguiſheth thee?
to see someone or something as different from others
to see someone or something clearly or distinctly
to make oneself noticeably different