dis·​tin·​guished | \ di-ˈstiŋ-(g)wisht \

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

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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

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 At the end of last night's episode, viewers saw an older, more distinguished-looking Toby (Chris Sullivan) lying in bed without Kate at his side. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, "This Is Us Season 3 Premiere: Your Biggest Questions, Answered," 26 Sep. 2018 One of America’s very first warships, and a vessel that would become the namesake of a distinguished line of warships, was just discovered in waters off the United Kingdom. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Shipwreck of One of America’s First Warships Was Just Found," 12 Dec. 2018 The Duchess of Sussex chose the rather distinguished paramour style in April and wore the label again in October. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "The 6 Brands of Shoes Meghan Markle Always Has in Her Closet," 10 Dec. 2018 Li has already been channeling the spirit of a distinguished, suit-wearing gent, at least in some aspects. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "Lykke Li on Tour Life and How Being a New Mom in Los Angeles Revitalized Her Personal Style," 22 Oct. 2018 In March 2011 the Petraeuses hosted a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol, in Washington, awarding medals from the Joint Chiefs of Staff to four civilians for distinguished service to the military. Vicky Ward, Town & Country, "The Bizarre Scandal That Brought Down General David Petraeus," 29 Nov. 2016

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.

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First Known Use of distinguished

1714, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for distinguished

see distinguish

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Last Updated

15 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for distinguished

The first known use of distinguished was in 1714

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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 \

Kids Definition of distinguished

: widely known and admired a distinguished scientist

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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).


involving abstract or general statements

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