adjective dis·tin·guished \ -(g)wisht \
Updated on: 10 Apr 2018

Definition of distinguished

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

Examples of distinguished in a Sentence

  1. She is distinguished for her achievements in genetic research.

  2. heads turned as the well-dressed, distinguished couple strode through the hotel lobby

Recent Examples of distinguished from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of distinguished

Synonym Discussion of 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

DISTINGUISHED Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of distinguished for English Language Learners

  • : known by many people because of some quality or achievement

  • : making someone seem important and worth respect

DISTINGUISHED Defined for Kids


adjective dis·tin·guished \ di-ˈstiŋ-gwisht \

Definition of distinguished for Students

: widely known and admired
  • a distinguished scientist

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to lower or disgrace the reputation of

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