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
The group argued in a lawsuit filed last month, and in an earlier complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, that Walmart discriminated against pregnant workers.
But because gender confirmation often includes the use of steroids, critics say the true purpose of the bill is to discriminate and to keep transgender kids out of high school sports.
But the compliance office also scored some major recent legal victories, including a $1.7 million settlement with Palantir Technologies over allegations that the data-mining company's hiring practices discriminated against Asians.
The Legislature acted after a court ruling said lawmakers in 2011 discriminated against minorities when passing the voter ID law.
In this regard, they may be worried by the central argument against the travel bans—that Trump’s statements before and after taking office are relevant, and show an unconstitutional intent to discriminate.
The documents claim that Plascencia was discriminated against based on her ethnic origin, and seek monetary damages in excess of $25,000.
A judge’s ruling Thursday could expand a lawsuit against Calvary Church, which is accused by more than a dozen families of discriminating against students with disabilities or other conditions.
Both rulings in Hawaii and Maryland said Trump's executive order discriminated against Muslims.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'discriminate'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us 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."
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
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