from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To make a clear distinction; distinguish: discriminate among the options available.
  • intransitive v. To make sensible decisions; judge wisely.
  • intransitive v. To make distinctions on the basis of class or category without regard to individual merit; show preference or prejudice: was accused of discriminating against women; discriminated in favor of his cronies.
  • transitive v. To perceive the distinguishing features of; recognize as distinct: discriminate right from wrong.
  • transitive v. To distinguish by noting differences; differentiate: unable to discriminate colors.
  • transitive v. To make or constitute a distinction in or between: methods that discriminate science from pseudoscience.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To make distinctions.
  • v. To make decisions based on prejudice.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Having the difference marked; distinguished by certain tokens.
  • intransitive v. To make a difference or distinction; to distinguish accurately.
  • intransitive v.
  • intransitive v. To treat unequally.
  • intransitive v. To impose unequal tariffs for substantially the same service.
  • transitive v. To set apart as being different; to mark as different; to separate from another by discerning differences; to distinguish.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To distinguish from something else, or from each other; separate observe or mark the differences between, absolutely or by some note or sign of distinction: as, to discriminate true from false modesty; to discriminate animals by names.
  • To select; pick out; make a distinction in regard to: as, to discriminate certain persons from a crowd of applicants.
  • To make a difference or distinction; observe or note a difference; distinguish: as, to discriminate between degrees of guilt.
  • Discriminating-perceiving nice differences.
  • Distinctive; discriminated.

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

  • v. treat differently on the basis of sex or race
  • v. recognize or perceive the difference
  • adj. marked by the ability to see or make fine distinctions
  • v. distinguish


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Latin discrīmināre, discrīmināt-, from discrīmen, discrīmin-, distinction; see krei- in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin discriminatus, past participle of discriminare ("to divide, separate, distinguish"), from discrimen ("a space between, division, separation, distinction"), from discerno ("to divide, separate, distinguish, discern"); see discern, discreet, discrete. Compare crime.



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