English dictionary

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English verb: distinguish

1. distinguish (cognition) mark as different

SamplesWe distinguish several kinds of maple.

Synonymsdifferentiate, secern, secernate, separate, severalise, severalize, tell, tell apart

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Somebody ----s somebody.
Somebody ----s something from somebody

Broader (hypernym)identify, place

Narrower (hyponym)contradistinguish, contrast, decouple, demarcate, discriminate, discriminate, dissociate, individualise, individualize, know, know apart, label, label, separate, severalise, severalize, sex, single out, stratify


2. distinguish (perception) detect with the senses

SamplesThe fleeing convicts were picked out of the darkness by the watchful prison guards.
I can't make out the faces in this photograph.

Synonymsdiscern, make out, pick out, recognise, recognize, spot, tell apart

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Somebody ----s somebody

Narrower (hyponym)discriminate, resolve

Entailcomprehend, perceive

3. distinguish (cognition) be a distinctive feature, attribute, or trait; sometimes in a very positive sense

SamplesHis modesty distinguishes him from his peers.

Synonymsdifferentiate, mark

Pattern of useSomething ----s somebody.
Something ----s something

Broader (hypernym)characterise, characterize, qualify

Narrower (hyponym)characterise, characterize

Verb groupmark

4. distinguish (communication) make conspicuous or noteworthy

Synonymssignalise, signalize

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Something ----s something

Broader (hypernym)mark

Narrower (hyponym)singularise, singularize

5. distinguish (cognition) identify as in botany or biology, for example

Synonymsdescribe, discover, identify, key, key out, name

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Somebody ----s somebody.
Something ----s something

Entailassort, class, classify, separate, sort, sort out

Based on WordNet 3.0 copyright © Princeton University.
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