from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Serving to identify; distinguishing or characteristic.
  • adjective Distinguished or attractive.
  • adjective Linguistics Phonemically relevant and capable of conveying a difference in meaning, as nasalization in the initial sound of mat versus bat.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Marking distinction, difference, or peculiarity; distinguishing from something diverse; characteristic: as, distinctive names or titles; the distinctive characteristics of a species.
  • Having the power to distinguish and discern; discerning.
  • noun A distinctive mark; specifically, in Hebrew grammar, a distinctive accent. There are 26 of these — 18 disjunctive and 8 conjunctive.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Marking or expressing distinction or difference; distinguishing; characteristic; peculiar.
  • adjective obsolete Having the power to distinguish and discern; discriminating.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective that serves to distinguish between things
  • adjective that is characteristic or typical of something

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective capable of being classified
  • adjective of a feature that helps to distinguish a person or thing


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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