American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The act of distinguishing; differentiation.
- n. The condition or fact of being dissimilar or distinct; difference: "the crucial distinction between education and indoctrination” ( A. Bartlett Giamatti). See Synonyms at difference.
- n. A distinguishing factor, attribute, or characteristic.
- n. Excellence or eminence, as of performance, character, or reputation: a diplomat of distinction.
- n. A special feature or quality conferring superiority.
- n. Recognition of achievement or superiority; honor: graduated with distinction.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The act of distinguishing, either by giving a distinctive mark or character to the object or objects distinguished, or by observing the existing marks and differences.
- n. A note or mark of difference; a distinguishing quality or character; a characteristic difference: followed by between.
- n. Difference in general; the state or fact of not being the same.
- n. Distinctness.
- n. The power of distinguishing differences; discrimination; discernment; judgment.
- n. The state of being distinguished; eminence; superiority; elevation of character or of rank in society; the manifestation of superiority in conduct, appearance, or otherwise.
- n. That which confers or marks eminence or superiority; office, rank, or favor.
- n. The act of distinguishing or treating with honor.
- n. Synonyms Distinctness, Distinction. Distinctness has kept the narrower literal sense of the state or quality of being distinct; distinction has been extended to more active meanings, as the mark of difference, the quality distinguishing, superiority by difference, outward rank, honors rendered to one as superior, etc.
- n. Diversity, etc. See difference.
- n. Rank, note, repute, fame, renown, celebrity.
- n. That which distinguishes; a single occurrence of a determining factor or feature, the fact of being divided; separation, discrimination.
- n. The act of distinguishing, discriminating; discrimination
- n. specifically, a feature that that causes someone or something to stand out as being better; a mark of honour, rank, eminence or excellence; being distinguished.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. obsolete A marking off by visible signs; separation into parts; division.
- n. The act of distinguishing or denoting the differences between objects, or the qualities by which one is known from others; exercise of discernment; discrimination.
- n. That which distinguishes one thing from another; distinguishing quality; sharply defined difference.
- n. Estimation of difference; regard to differences or distinguishing circumstance.
- n. Conspicuous station; eminence; superiority; honorable estimation.
- n. a distinguishing quality
- n. a discrimination between things as different and distinct
- n. a distinguishing difference
- n. high status importance owing to marked superiority
- From Old French (12th century) distinction, from Latin accusative distinctionem, action noun of distinguo ("I distinguish"). Used in English from the late 14th century. (Wiktionary)
“In short, perhaps we can argue that the distinction, such as it is, between Socrates and his humanity is merely a ˜distinction of reason™.”
“The distinction cannot therefore be dismissed as a ˜distinction without a difference™.”
“But the main distinction is this: Here, the students are being coerced to participate in a patriotic exercise, not a religious exercise.”
“The rubrics also prescribe that the priest keep his hands closed for the Lord's prayer, a rubric that does set it in distinction from the typical practice in this regard.”
“The main distinction is that fusion power produces no high-level radioactive waste (though activated plant materials still need to be disposed of).”
“In my mind the main distinction is that in Kenya there were no extermination camps.”
“The strategy, it seems to me, that they can best adopt to achieve and maintain distinction, is to cherish diversity.”
“The main distinction is that politically correct language is often inspired only by politeness, while Newspeak has a more explicit limiting political motivation.”
“The word distinction is important because those leadership skills, which include tough calls in the face of adversity, already exist among these newcomers.”
“Observe, First, True religion is the wisdom of just men, in distinction from the wisdom of the world.”
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