differentiate vs specialize what difference

what is difference between differentiate and specialize

English

Etymology

From New Latin *differentiatus, past participle of differentiare, from Latin differentia (difference); see difference.

Pronunciation

  • (UK) IPA(key): /dɪf.əˈɹɛn.ʃi.eɪt/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˌdɪ.fəˈɹɛnt.ʃi.eɪt/

Verb

differentiate (third-person singular simple present differentiates, present participle differentiating, simple past and past participle differentiated)

  1. (transitive) To show, or be the distinction between two things.
    • 1871, John Earle, The Philology of the English Tongue
      The word “then” was differentiated into the two forms “then” and “than”.
  2. (intransitive) To perceive the difference between things; to discriminate.
  3. (transitive, intransitive) To modify, or be modified.
  4. (transitive, mathematics) To calculate the derivative of a function.
  5. (transitive, mathematics) To calculate the differential of a function of multiple variables.
  6. (intransitive, biology) To produce distinct organs or to achieve specific functions by a process of development called differentiation.

Synonyms

  • (to show the distinction between things): differentialize; see also Thesaurus:differentiate
  • (to perceive the difference between things): differentialize; see also Thesaurus:tell apart
  • (to modify): change, transform; see also Thesaurus:alter

Antonyms

  • (to show the distinction between things): equate
  • (to perceive the difference between things): mix up, muddle up
  • (to modify): leave alone, preserve

Derived terms

  • differentiation

Related terms

  • differ
  • difference
  • different
  • differential

Translations

Further reading

  • differentiate in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
  • differentiate in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.

Noun

differentiate (plural differentiates)

  1. (geology) Something that has been differentiated or stratified.


English

Alternative forms

  • specialise (non-Oxford British spelling)

Etymology

special +‎ -ize

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ˈspɛʃəˌlaɪz/
  • Hyphenation: spe‧cial‧ize

Verb

specialize (third-person singular simple present specializes, present participle specializing, simple past and past participle specialized)

  1. To make distinct or separate from what is what is common, particularly:
    1. (obsolete, intransitive) To go into specific details.
    2. (rare, transitive) To specify: to mention specifically.
      • 1616, Richard Sheldon, A Survey of the Miracles of the Church of Rome, Proving Them to be Antichristian, 261:
        Our Sauiour specialising and nominating the places in which these false prophets should teach his presence to be.
    3. (uncommon, transitive) To narrow in scope.
    4. (biology, transitive) To make distinct or separate due to form or function.
      • 1835 October, “On the Structure and Functions of the Organs of Respiration”, in West of England Journal, volume I, number IV, page 218:
        In the lowest orders of being, we find these functions very much blended together, and several of them apparently performed by one simple apparatus ; but in proportion as we rise in the scale, we perceive that they are specialized, or separated from each other, and that a complicated set of organs is appropriated to each of them.
      • 1911 September, Laura Clarke Rockwood, “Food Preparation and Its Relation to the Development of Efficient Personality in the Home”, in Popular Science Monthly, volume LXXIX, pages 281–2:
        Those who insist that a woman’s place is at home by divine decree need only to study the life of primitive man to find out how very human are some of our domestic customs, for they will then see this distinction, that while nature has specialized woman for child-bearing, it is society which has specialized her for housework.
  2. (intransitive) To become distinct or separate from what is common, particularly:
    1. To focus one’s study upon a particular skill, field, topic, or genre. [from late 19th c.]
    2. To focus one’s business upon a particular item or service.
      • 1908 March 27, Pall Mall Gazette, 12/3:
        Firms… which have specialised in the manufacture of ‘heavies’…
      • 1990, House of Cards, Season 1, Episode 1:
        Blackhead: I might look you up myself one of these days. Do you specialise at all, like?
        Penny Guy: Yeah. Verbal abuse and colonic irrigation.
    3. (usually derogatory) To be known or notorious for some specialty.
      • 1923 November 14, Evening Independent of Massillon, Ohio, 5/3
        Watson specializes in adiposeness; none of his chorus beauties may be considered featherweights.

Usage notes

In biological contexts, specialized is often used with the prepositions for [when describing the function] or into [when describing the form]. In academic, professional, and commercial contexts, it is usually used with the preposition in.

Antonyms

  • generalize

Derived terms

Translations

References

  • Oxford English Dictionary, “specialize, v.“, 2015.
  • Oxford Dictionaries [1]

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