Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

differentiate

play
verb dif·fer·en·ti·ate \ˌdif-ə-ˈren(t)-shē-ˌāt\

Simple Definition of differentiate

  • : to make (someone or something) different in some way

  • : to see or state the difference or differences between two or more things

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of differentiate

differentiated

differentiating

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to obtain the mathematical derivative of

  3. 2 :  to mark or show a difference in :  constitute a difference that distinguishes

  4. 3 :  to develop differential characteristics in

  5. 4 :  to cause differentiation of in the course of development

  6. 5 :  to express the specific distinguishing quality of :  discriminate

  7. intransitive verb
  8. 1 :  to recognize or give expression to a difference

  9. 2 :  to become distinct or different in character

  10. 3 :  to undergo differentiation

differentiability

play \-ˌren(t)-sh(ē-)ə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun

differentiable

play \-ˈren(t)-sh(ē-)ə-bəl\ adjective

Examples of differentiate in a sentence

  1. The only thing that differentiates the twins is the color of their eyes.

  2. <it was hard at first to differentiate between the two styles of music>



1816

First Known Use of differentiate

1816


DIFFERENTIATE Defined for Kids

differentiate

play
verb dif·fer·en·ti·ate \ˌdi-fə-ˈren-shē-ˌāt\

Definition of differentiate for Students

differentiated

differentiating

  1. 1 :  to make or become different <What differentiates the cars?>

  2. 2 :  to recognize or state the difference between <I can't differentiate the two colors.>




Medical Dictionary

differentiate

play
verb dif·fer·en·ti·ate \ˌdif-ə-ˈren-chē-ˌāt\

Medical Definition of differentiate

differentiated

;

differentiating

  1. 1

  2. transitive verb

  3. :  to constitute a difference that distinguishes <the history of the injury also differentiates these two fractures—J. S. Keene et al>

  4. 2:  to cause differentiation of in the course of development

  5. 3:  to discriminate or give expression to a specific difference that distinguishes <quickly learned to differentiate sharp pain from dull pain>

  6. 4:  to cause differentiation in (a specimen for microscopic examination) by staining

  7. 1

  8. intransitive verb

  9. :  to recognize or express a difference <differentiate between humans and the rest of the primates>

  10. 2:  to undergo differentiation <when a B cell matures, it differentiates into a plasma cell that secretes antibodies—R. C. Gallo>





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up differentiate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

at a gallop

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alphabet-pasta-spelling-help

Which is the correct spelling?

accommodate acommadate acommodate accomodate
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ