differentiate

verb
dif·​fer·​en·​ti·​ate | \ ˌdi-fə-ˈren(t)-shē-ˌāt How to pronounce differentiate (audio) \
differentiated; differentiating

Definition of differentiate

transitive verb

1 mathematics : to obtain the mathematical derivative (see derivative entry 1 sense 3) of
2 : to mark or show a difference in : constitute a contrasting element that distinguishes features that differentiate the twins how we differentiate ourselves from our competitors
3 : to develop differential or distinguishing characteristics in What differentiated a laborer from another man …— Sherwood Anderson
4 biology : to cause differentiation (see differentiation sense 3b) of in the course of development cells that are differentiated from stem cells
5 : to express the specific distinguishing quality of : discriminate differentiate poetry and prose

intransitive verb

1 : to recognize or give expression to a difference difficult to differentiate between the two
2 : to become distinct or different in character
3 biology : to undergo differentiation (see differentiation sense 3b) when the cells begin to differentiate

Other Words from differentiate

differentiability \ ˌdi-​fə-​ˌren(t)-​sh(ē-​)ə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce differentiate (audio) \ noun
differentiable \ ˌdi-​fə-​ˈren(t)-​sh(ē-​)ə-​bəl How to pronounce differentiate (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for differentiate

Synonyms

Antonyms

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Examples of differentiate in a Sentence

The only thing that differentiates the twins is the color of their eyes. it was hard at first to differentiate between the two styles of music
Recent Examples on the Web Advocates who fight discrimination welcomed the new data published this month that gives a rare insight because France follows a universalist vision that doesn’t differentiate citizens by ethnic groups. Jade Le Deley, The Christian Science Monitor, 18 July 2022 For example, when considering a player who is not neurodiverse or who can’t differentiate red and green, that changes what the game looks and feels like. Trilby Beresford, The Hollywood Reporter, 10 June 2022 However, in the TV show, Theo James's Henry's hair is long in his 20s, and shorter in his 30s, so viewers can easily differentiate the different versions of the time traveler. Emily Burack, Town & Country, 13 May 2022 The credit would no longer differentiate between singles with dependents and joint filers, aiming to make the credit fairer to single parents, Glazer said. Mackenzie Maysstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 10 Apr. 2022 The same rumors said that Apple will differentiate the System-on-Chips (SoC) in the non-Pro and Pro models for the first time ever. Chris Smith, BGR, 24 Mar. 2022 Researchers found that juvenile great whites cannot significantly differentiate between humans swimming, humans paddling surfboards, and pinnipeds, including sea lions and seals. CBS News, 25 Jan. 2022 The researchers found that the two languages triggered different activity patterns in the part of the brain that processes complex sounds, showing for the first time that a non-human brain can differentiate between languages. Margaret Osborne, Smithsonian Magazine, 11 Jan. 2022 Practitioners use diagnostic tests that can differentiate between respiratory infections like COVID-19, influenza A and B, and respiratory syncytial virus. Raghu Adiga, Scientific American, 6 Jan. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'differentiate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of differentiate

1814, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for differentiate

probably borrowed from Medieval Latin differentiātus, past participle of differentiāre "to distinguish" (New Latin in mathematical sense), verbal derivative of Latin differentia difference entry 1

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Time Traveler for differentiate

Time Traveler

The first known use of differentiate was in 1814

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Dictionary Entries Near differentiate

differential windlass

differentiate

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Statistics for differentiate

Last Updated

4 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Differentiate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/differentiate. Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for differentiate

differentiate

verb
dif·​fer·​en·​ti·​ate | \ ˌdi-fə-ˈren-shē-ˌāt How to pronounce differentiate (audio) \
differentiated; differentiating

Kids Definition of differentiate

1 : to make or become different What differentiates the cars?
2 : to recognize or state the difference between I can't differentiate the two colors.

differentiate

verb
dif·​fer·​en·​ti·​ate | \ ˌdif-ə-ˈren-chē-ˌāt How to pronounce differentiate (audio) \
differentiated; differentiating

Medical Definition of differentiate

transitive verb

1 : to constitute a difference that distinguishes the history of the injury also differentiates these two fractures— J. S. Keene et al.
2 : to cause differentiation of in the course of development
3 : to discriminate or give expression to a specific difference that distinguishes quickly learned to differentiate sharp pain from dull pain
4 : to cause differentiation in (a specimen for microscopic examination) by staining

intransitive verb

1 : to recognize or express a difference differentiate between humans and the rest of the primates
2 : to undergo differentiation when a B cell matures, it differentiates into a plasma cell that secretes antibodies— R. C. Gallo

More from Merriam-Webster on differentiate

Nglish: Translation of differentiate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of differentiate for Arabic Speakers

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