dis·​tin·​guished | \ di-ˈstiŋ-(g)wisht How to pronounce distinguished (audio) \

Definition of distinguished

1 : marked by eminence, distinction (see distinction sense 5), or excellence distinguished leadership our distinguished guest
2 : befitting an eminent person a distinguished setting

Keep scrolling for more

Choose the Right Synonym for distinguished

famous, renowned, celebrated, noted, notorious, distinguished, eminent, illustrious mean known far and wide. famous implies little more than the fact of being, sometimes briefly, widely and popularly known. a famous actress renowned implies more glory and acclamation. one of the most renowned figures in sports history celebrated implies notice and attention especially in print. the most celebrated beauty of her day noted suggests well-deserved public attention. the noted mystery writer notorious frequently adds to famous an implication of questionableness or evil. a notorious gangster distinguished implies acknowledged excellence or superiority. a distinguished scientist who won the Nobel Prize eminent implies even greater prominence for outstanding quality or character. the country's most eminent writers illustrious stresses enduring honor and glory attached to a deed or person. illustrious war heroes

Examples of distinguished in a Sentence

She is distinguished for her achievements in genetic research. heads turned as the well-dressed, distinguished couple strode through the hotel lobby

Recent Examples on the Web

Commandant, Staff of the Royal Military Academy, Officer Cadets, distinguished guests, good morning to you all. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Read the Speech Prince William Delivered at the Sovereign's Parade," 14 Dec. 2018 But how many people engage in barroom debates over the best backhand or most distinguished hurdler? Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, "Big 12 baseball title shows Texas is finding its way back to prominence," 22 May 2018 Since publishing his controversial paper, Avi Loeb has run a nearly nonstop media circuit, embracing the celebrity that comes from being perhaps the most academically distinguished E.T. enthusiast of his time. Avi Selk, The Seattle Times, "Harvard’s top astronomer says an alien ship may be among us – and he doesn’t care what his colleagues think," 4 Feb. 2019 But Hall’s introduction into distinguished award spaces comes at a strange but typical time for black women. Kyndall Cunningham, Glamour, "The Oscar Race Is All About Gaga vs. Glenn—But What About Women of Color?," 22 Jan. 2019 For now, the distinguished circuit-court judge is on track for confirmation. Kimberley A. Strassel, WSJ, "The GOP Can’t Win for Losing," 20 Sep. 2018 Real and distinguished businesses proofread their official communications. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Is Savannah Guthrie Leaving the 'Today' Show? The Anchor Just Shut Down Rumors," 8 Jan. 2019 Blue Note Records would go on to become one of the greatest jazz labels, immortalizing music by Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and other distinguished artists. John Edward Hasse, WSJ, "The Concert That Changed Music History," 24 Dec. 2018 The former created an algorithmically generated image, and the latter distinguished if it was done by hand or by computation. Shirin Ghaffary, Recode, "AI-produced artwork is moving from the fringes into the high art world," 25 Sep. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of distinguished

1714, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for distinguished

see distinguish

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about distinguished

Share distinguished

Statistics for distinguished

Last Updated

26 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for distinguished

The first known use of distinguished was in 1714

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for distinguished



English Language Learners Definition of distinguished

: known by many people because of some quality or achievement
: making someone seem important and worth respect


dis·​tin·​guished | \ di-ˈstiŋ-gwisht How to pronounce distinguished (audio) \

Kids Definition of distinguished

: widely known and admired a distinguished scientist

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on distinguished

What made you want to look up distinguished? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the way words of a language are spelled

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Green Quiz

  • shamrock
  • What is the best definition of green-eyed monster?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!