distinguish

To distinguish means to tell apart. If you win the lottery, you’re going to need to learn to distinguish between people who really like you and people who like your money.

To distinguish is to discern, which means to perceive or recognize the way something differs from what’s around it. It takes discerning taste buds to distinguish between Coke and Pepsi. Distinguish also means to separate yourself out from the pack, usually in a good way. You might distinguish yourself at a Comics Convention with your encyclopedic knowledge of Krazy Kat.

Definitions of distinguish
  1. verb
    mark as different
    “We distinguish several kinds of maple”
    synonyms: differentiate, secern, secernate, separate, severalise, severalize, tell, tell apart
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    types:
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    know
    be able to distinguish, recognize as being different
    discern, discriminate, know apart
    recognize or perceive the difference
    label
    distinguish (an element or atom) by using a radioactive isotope or an isotope of unusual mass for tracing through chemical reactions
    label
    distinguish (as a compound or molecule) by introducing a labeled atom
    sex
    tell the sex (of young chickens)
    individualise, individualize
    make or mark or treat as individual
    contrast
    put in opposition to show or emphasize differences
    severalise, severalize
    distinguish or separate
    contradistinguish
    distinguish by contrasting qualities
    decouple, dissociate
    regard as unconnected
    demarcate
    separate clearly, as if by boundaries
    discriminate, separate, single out
    treat differently on the basis of sex or race
    stratify
    divide society into social classes or castes
    insulate, isolate
    place or set apart
    subtilize
    mark fine distinctions and subtleties, as among words
    hive off
    remove from a group and make separate
    segregate
    separate by race or religion; practice a policy of racial segregation
    redline
    discriminate in selling or renting housing in certain areas of a neighborhood
    disadvantage, disfavor, disfavour
    put at a disadvantage; hinder, harm
    type of:
    identify, place
    recognize as being; establish the identity of someone or something
  2. verb
    make conspicuous or noteworthy
    synonyms: signalise, signalize
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    types:
    singularise, singularize
    distinguish as singular
    type of:
    mark
    designate as if by a mark
  3. verb
    be a distinctive feature, attribute, or trait; sometimes in a very positive sense
    “His modesty distinguishes him from his peers”
    synonyms: differentiate, mark
    mark
    designate as if by a mark
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    types:
    characterise, characterize
    be characteristic of
    individuate
    give individual character to
    define
    determine the nature of
    type of:
    characterise, characterize, qualify
    describe or portray the character or the qualities or peculiarities of
  4. verb
    detect with the senses
    synonyms: discern, make out, pick out, recognise, recognize, spot, tell apart
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    types:
    resolve
    make clearly visible
    discriminate
    distinguish
  5. verb
    identify as in botany or biology, for example
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