distinction

noun dis·tinc·tion \ di-ˈstiŋ(k)-shən \

Definition of distinction

1 a archaic :division
b :class 4
  • Mr. Hemingway's … prose is of the first distinction.
  • —Edmund Wilson
2 :the act of perceiving someone or something as being not the same and often treating as separate or different :the distinguishing of a difference
  • without distinction as to race, sex, or religion
; also :the difference distinguished
  • the distinction between imply and infer
3 :something that distinguishes
  • regional distinctions
4 :the quality or state of being distinguishable
  • no distinction of facial features in the twins
5 a :the quality or state of being excellent or superior :the quality or state of being distinguished or worthy
  • a politician of some distinction
b :special honor or recognition
  • took a law degree with distinction
  • won many distinctions
c :an accomplishment that sets one apart
  • holds the distinction of being the only American to win the prize

Examples of distinction in a Sentence

  1. There are no obvious distinctions between the two designs.

  2. She made a distinction between the words “less” and “fewer.”

  3. He was raised in a small town of no great distinction.

  4. Her talents gave distinction to the work.

Recent Examples of distinction from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of distinction



DISTINCTION Defined for English Language Learners

distinction

noun

Definition of distinction for English Language Learners

  • : a difference that you can see, hear, smell, feel, etc. : a noticeable difference between things or people

  • : the separation of people or things into different groups

  • : importance, excellence, or achievement


DISTINCTION Defined for Kids

distinction

noun dis·tinc·tion \ di-ˈstiŋk-shən \

Definition of distinction for Students

1 :difference 1
  • the distinction between right and wrong
2 :the act of seeing or pointing out a difference
  • He made a distinction between the two words.
3 :great worth :excellence
  • a writer of distinction
4 :something that makes a person or thing special or different
  • Our house has the distinction of being the oldest one in town.


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