Definition of discriminate
1a : to mark or perceive the distinguishing or peculiar features of Depth perception may be defined as the ability to appreciate or discriminate the third dimension … — H. G. Armstrongb : distinguish, differentiate discriminate hundreds of colors
2 : to distinguish by discerning or exposing differences : to recognize or identify as separate and distinct discriminate right from wrong; especially : to distinguish from another like object discriminate the individual voices in the choir
1a : to make a distinction discriminate among historical sources discriminates between literary fiction and popular fictionb : to use good judgment
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
discriminate was our Word of the Day on 11/04/2011. Hear the podcast!
Examples of discriminate in a sentence
The school is not allowed to discriminate.
the human eye can discriminate between very slight gradations of color
Recent Examples of discriminate from the web
Both rulings in Hawaii and Maryland said Trump's executive order discriminated against Muslims.
Most notably, in a landmark 1971 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that airlines could not discriminate against men after Celio Diaz Jr. of Miami claimed his two applications for Pan Am were rejected on the basis of gender.
After hearing new arguments from City Corporation Counsel Donna Leong, Judge Gary W.B. Chang ruled that the city’s Residential A tax classification did not discriminate against non-residents and fell within the powers of the city.
Kaiser likes Obamacare’s under-26 provision and its ban on discriminating against people based on pre-existing conditions.
That same year, residents of the nation’s most populous state, California, approved Proposition 209, which prohibited public institutions, including the University of California system, from discriminating on the basis of race.
Existing rules prevented businesses from discriminating against customers based on race, age, religion, and gender, and the new ones added gay, lesbian, or transgender customers to the list.
Whatever the proximate cause, within minutes of our food hitting the table at Kitchen 713, my discriminating friend Todd's verdict was in.
The South could have removed itself from the restrictions of the Voting Rights Act simply by not discriminating any more.
These example sentences are collected from online sources. Help us improve them by sending feedback.
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: 1615
DISCRIMINATE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of discriminate for English Language Learners
: 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
DISCRIMINATE Defined for Kids
Definition of discriminate for Students
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 : to be able to tell the difference between things He can discriminate among the birds by their calls.
Medical Definition of discriminate
transitive verb: to respond selectively to (a stimulus)
intransitive verb: to respond selectively the capacity of organisms to discriminate—J. A. Swets
Legal Definition of discriminate
: 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
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up discriminate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).