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discriminate

play
verb dis·crim·i·nate \dis-ˈkri-mə-ˌnāt\

Simple Definition of discriminate

  • : to unfairly treat a person or group of people differently from other people or groups

  • : to notice and understand that one thing is different from another thing : to recognize a difference between things

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of discriminate

discriminated

discriminating

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to mark or perceive the distinguishing or peculiar features of b :  distinguish, differentiate <discriminate hundreds of colors>

  3. 2 :  to distinguish by discerning or exposing differences; especially :  to distinguish from another like object

  4. intransitive verb
  5. 1 a :  to make a distinction <discriminate among historical sources> b :  to use good judgment

  6. 2 :  to make a difference in treatment or favor on a basis other than individual merit <discriminate in favor of your friends> <discriminate against a certain nationality>

Examples of discriminate in a sentence

  1. The school is not allowed to discriminate.

  2. <the human eye can discriminate between very slight gradations of color>



Did You Know?

Although many methods or motives for discriminating are unfair and undesirable (or even illegal), the verb itself has a neutral history. English speakers borrowed it from the past participle of the Latin verb discriminare, itself from the verb discernere, meaning "to distinguish between." "Discernere," in turn, was formed by combining the prefix dis- and cernere ("to sift"). Other descendants of "discernere" include "discern" and "discernible" (as you no doubt guessed), "discreet," and "indiscretion." In addition, the root "cernere" gives us "concern," "certain," "decree," and even "secret."

Origin and Etymology of discriminate

Latin discriminatus, past participle of discriminare, from discrimin-, discrimen distinction, from discernere to distinguish between — more at discern


First Known Use: 1628


DISCRIMINATE Defined for Kids

discriminate

play
verb dis·crim·i·nate \di-ˈskri-mə-ˌnāt\

Definition of discriminate for Students

discriminated

discriminating

  1. 1 :  to unfairly treat a person or group differently from other people or groups <It is against the law to discriminate on the basis of race.>

  2. 2 :  to be able to tell the difference between things <He can discriminate among the birds by their calls.>




Medical Dictionary

discriminate

play
verb dis·crim·i·nate \dis-ˈkrim-ə-ˌnāt\

Medical Definition of discriminate

discriminated

;

discriminating

  1. transitive verb

  2. :  to respond selectively to (a stimulus)

  3. intransitive verb

  4. :  to respond selectively <the capacity of organisms to discriminate—J. A. Swets>




Law Dictionary

discriminate

play
intransitive verb dis·crim·i·nate \dis-ˈkri-mə-ˌnāt\

Legal Definition of discriminate

discriminated

discriminating

  1. :  to make a difference in treatment or favor on a basis other than individual merit; especially :  to make a difference in treatment on a basis prohibited by law (as national origin, race, sex, religion, age, or disability) — see also bona fide occupational qualification, equal protection, reverse discrimination, suspect class, Civil Rights Act of 1964

discrimination

\dis-ˌkri-mə-ˈnā-shən\ play noun




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