differentia

noun

dif·​fer·​en·​tia ˌdi-fə-ˈren(t)-sh(ē-)ə How to pronounce differentia (audio)
plural differentiae ˌdi-fə-ˈren(t)-shē-ˌē How to pronounce differentia (audio)
-shē-ˌī
: an element, feature, or factor that distinguishes one entity, state, or class from another
especially : a characteristic trait distinguishing a species from other species of the same genus

Examples of differentia in a Sentence

a list of the chief differentiae between a controlling cult and a legitimate religious sect

Word History

Etymology

borrowed from Latin — more at difference entry 1

First Known Use

1551, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of differentia was in 1551

Dictionary Entries Near differentia

Cite this Entry

“Differentia.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/differentia. Accessed 21 May. 2024.

Medical Definition

differentia

noun
dif·​fer·​en·​tia ˌdif-ə-ˈren-ch(ē-)ə How to pronounce differentia (audio)
plural differentiae -chē-ˌē How to pronounce differentia (audio) -chē-ˌī How to pronounce differentia (audio)
: the element, feature, or factor that distinguishes one entity, state, or class from another
especially : a characteristic trait distinguishing a species from other species of the same genus
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