Definition of distinction
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>
5a : 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
There are no obvious distinctions between the two designs.
She made a distinction between the words “less” and “fewer.”
He was raised in a small town of no great distinction.
Her talents gave distinction to the work.
Origin and Etymology of distinction
First Known Use: 13th century
DISTINCTION Defined for English Language Learners
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
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.>
Seen and Heard
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