January 29, 2017
Learner's Word of the Day
distinguish /dɪˈstɪŋgwɪʃ/ verb
distinguish
/dɪˈstɪŋgwɪʃ/
verb

distinguishes; distinguished; distinguishing

It is difficult distinguishing the difference between the twins.
It is difficult distinguishing the difference between the twins.
Learner's definition of DISTINGUISH

1 : to notice or recognize a difference between people or things

[no object]

  • You're old enough to distinguish between fact and fantasy.

  • I have trouble distinguishing between the two of them.

[+ object]

  • Their voices are hard to distinguish. [=tell apart]

  • I have trouble distinguishing the difference between the two of them.

  • You should be able to distinguish fact from fantasy.

2 not used in progressive tenses, [+ object] : to make (someone or something) different or special in some way

  • The only thing that distinguishes the dogs is their bark.

  • The recipe is distinguished by its simplicity. [=the unusual or interesting thing about the recipe is its simplicity]

  • The singer's voice is what distinguishes the band.

— often + from

  • Our excellent customer service distinguishes us from our competitors.

  • The law affects private property as distinguished from public property. [=the law affects private property and not public property]

3 not used in progressive tenses, [+ object] : to see or hear (someone or something) clearly

  • You can't distinguish the detail from this distance.

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