distinguish vs separate what difference

what is difference between distinguish and separate

English

Etymology

From Middle English distingwen, from Old French distinguer, from Latin distinguere (to separate, divide, distinguish, set off, adorn, literally mark off), from di-, dis- (apart) + stinguere. Compare extinguish.

Pronunciation

  • enPR: dĭs-tĭngʹgwĭsh, IPA(key): /dɪsˈtɪŋɡwɪʃ/
  • Rhymes: -ɪŋɡwɪʃ
  • Hyphenation: dis‧tin‧guish

Verb

distinguish (third-person singular simple present distinguishes, present participle distinguishing, simple past and past participle distinguished)

  1. To recognize someone or something as different from others based on its characteristics.
    Synonyms: differentiate, discriminate; see also Thesaurus:tell apart
    Antonym: confuse
  2. To see someone or something clearly or distinctly.
  3. To make oneself noticeably different or better from others through accomplishments.
    • 1784: William Jones, The Description and Use of a New Portable Orrery, &c., PREFACE
      THE favourable reception the Orrery has met with from Perſons of the firſt diſtinction, and from Gentlemen and Ladies in general, has induced me to add to it ſeveral new improvements in order to give it a degree of Perfection; and diſtinguiſh it from others; which by Piracy, or Imitation, may be introduced to the Public.
  4. (transitive, obsolete) To make to differ.

Usage notes

In sense “see a difference”, more casual than differentiate or the formal discriminate; more casual is “tell the difference”.

Derived terms

  • distinguished
  • distinguishable
  • distinguishing
  • distinguishness
  • undistinguishing

Related terms

  • distinct
  • distinction
  • extinguish

Translations

Further reading

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


English

Etymology

Latin separatus, perfect passive participle of separare (to separate), from Latin sē- (apart) +‎ parō (prepare). Displaced Middle English scheden, from Old English scēadan (whence English shed).

Pronunciation

  • (adjective, noun) IPA(key): /ˈsɛpɹət/, /ˈsɛpəɹət/
  • (verb) IPA(key): /ˈsɛpəɹeɪt/
  • Hyphenation: sep‧a‧rate

Adjective

separate (not comparable)

  1. Apart from (the rest); not connected to or attached to (anything else).
    This chair can be disassembled into five separate pieces.
  2. (followed by “from”) Not together (with); not united (to).
    I try to keep my personal life separate from work.

Translations

Verb

separate (third-person singular simple present separates, present participle separating, simple past and past participle separated)

  1. (transitive) To divide (a thing) into separate parts.
  2. (transitive) To disunite from a group or mass; to disconnect.
    • 1683, John Dryden, The Art of Poetry
      From the fine gold I separate the allay [alloy].
    • Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
  3. (transitive) To cause (things or people) to be separate.
  4. (intransitive) To divide itself into separate pieces or substances.
  5. (obsolete) To set apart; to select from among others, as for a special use or service.
    • Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

Synonyms

  • (divide into separate parts): partition, split; see also Thesaurus:divide
  • (disunite something from one thing): See also Thesaurus:disjoin
  • (cause to be separate): split up, tear apart
  • (divide itself): break down, come apart, disintegrate, fall apart
  • (select from among others): earmark, sepose; see also Thesaurus:set apart

Antonyms

  • annex
  • combine

Derived terms

Translations

Noun

separate (plural separates)

  1. (usually in the plural) Anything that is sold by itself, especially articles of clothing such as blouses, skirts, jackets, and pants.

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Usage notes

  • The spelling is separate (-par-). seperate (-per-) is a common misspelling.

See also

  • disunite
  • disconnect
  • divide
  • split
  • reduce
  • subtract

Anagrams

  • asperate

German

Pronunciation

Adjective

separate

  1. inflection of separat:
    1. strong/mixed nominative/accusative feminine singular
    2. strong nominative/accusative plural
    3. weak nominative all-gender singular
    4. weak accusative feminine/neuter singular

Italian

Verb

separate

  1. inflection of separare:
    1. second-person plural present indicative
    2. second-person plural imperative

Latin

Verb

sēparāte

  1. second-person plural present active imperative of sēparō

References

  • separate in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • separate in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • separate in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré Latin-Français, Hachette

Norwegian Bokmål

Adjective

separate

  1. definite singular of separat
  2. plural of separat

Norwegian Nynorsk

Adjective

separate

  1. definite singular of separat
  2. plural of separat

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