Meaning of distinguish

dis•tin•guish

Pronunciation: (di-sting'gwish), [key]
— v.t.
  1. to mark off as different (often fol. by from or by): He was distinguished from the other boys by his height.
  2. to recognize as distinct or different; recognize the salient or individual features or characteristics of: It is hard to distinguish her from her twin sister.
  3. to perceive clearly by sight or other sense; discern; recognize: He could not distinguish many of the words.
  4. to set apart as different; be a distinctive characteristic of; characterize: It is his Italian accent that distinguishes him.
  5. to make prominent, conspicuous, or eminent: to distinguish oneself in battle.
  6. to divide into classes; classify: Let us distinguish the various types of metaphor.
  7. to single out for or honor with special attention.
—v.i.
  1. to indicate or show a difference (usually fol. by between).
  2. to recognize or note differences; discriminate.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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