Definition of

Distinguish

  1. (verb, cognition) mark as different
  2. (verb, cognition) be a distinctive feature, attribute, or trait; sometimes in a very positive sense
  3. (verb, cognition) identify as in botany or biology, for example
  4. (verb, communication) make conspicuous or noteworthy
  5. (verb, perception) detect with the senses
    I can't make out the faces in this photograph

via WordNet, Princeton University

Origin of the word Distinguish

  1. 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 ca… more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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