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
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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
MLB umpire Angel Hernandez has filed a lawsuit against the league and commissioner Rob Manfred alleging the league discriminates against minority umpires, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
The lawsuit alleges that the park expressly discriminated against Snelling because of his creationist beliefs and by doing so violated Snelling's constitutional rights and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
In 2014, then-President Obama signed an executive order that prevented the federal government from contracting with companies that discriminate against employees because of their sexuality or gender identity.
That suggests that the real world is just as bad at discriminating quality as the simulated network.
To members and allies of the LGBT college community, this sounded like a signal that under DeVos, the Department of Education may decline to use its ability to withhold federal funding from private colleges that discriminate against LGBT students.
The diameter of the primary mirror is a critical parameter of a telescope, defining its light-collecting power as well as its ability to discriminate fine detail.
An appeals court based in Richmond, Virginia, ruled on May 25 that Trump intended to discriminate against Muslims in his executive order.
Kay, who Kerr says discriminated against her, remains the executive director of the commission nearly a year after the verdict.
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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