Thesaurus

distinguished

adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms of distinguished

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 having or showing a formal and serious or reserved manner
  • heads turned as the well-dressed, distinguished couple strode through the hotel lobby

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2 standing above others in rank, importance, or achievement
  • a distinguished astronomer who is widely respected in the field

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distinguished

verb
past tense of distinguish

Synonyms & Antonyms of distinguished (Entry 2 of 2)

1 to understand or point out the difference in
  • even at such a young age, he could distinguish the calls of various birds

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2 to be an important feature of
  • a collection of recipes distinguished by their ease and simplicity

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3 to find out or establish the identity of
  • learned at an early age to distinguish the sound of a piano in an orchestra

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4 to make note of (something) through the use of one's eyes
  • could barely distinguish the garden gate through the mist

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See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About distinguished

How is the word distinguished different from other adjectives like it?

Some common synonyms of distinguished are celebrated, eminent, famous, illustrious, noted, notorious, and renowned. While all these words mean "known far and wide," distinguished implies acknowledged excellence or superiority.

a distinguished scientist who won the Nobel Prize

When is it sensible to use celebrated instead of distinguished?

The words celebrated and distinguished are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, celebrated implies notice and attention especially in print.

the most celebrated beauty of her day

When could eminent be used to replace distinguished?

Although the words eminent and distinguished have much in common, eminent implies even greater prominence for outstanding quality or character.

the country's most eminent writers

When can famous be used instead of distinguished?

The meanings of famous and distinguished largely overlap; however, famous implies little more than the fact of being, sometimes briefly, widely and popularly known.

a famous actress

When might illustrious be a better fit than distinguished?

While the synonyms illustrious and distinguished are close in meaning, illustrious stresses enduring honor and glory attached to a deed or person.

illustrious war heroes

When would noted be a good substitute for distinguished?

In some situations, the words noted and distinguished are roughly equivalent. However, noted suggests well-deserved public attention.

the noted mystery writer

How do notorious and famous relate to one another, in the sense of distinguished?

Notorious frequently adds to famous an implication of questionableness or evil.

a notorious gangster

In what contexts can renowned take the place of distinguished?

While in some cases nearly identical to distinguished, renowned implies more glory and acclamation.

one of the most renowned figures in sports history

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Time Traveler for distinguished

Time Traveler

The first known use of distinguished was in 1714

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Cite this Entry

“Distinguished.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/distinguished. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on distinguished

Dictionary: Definition of distinguished

Spanish Central: Translation of distinguished

Nglish: Translation of distinguished for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of distinguished for Arabic Speakers

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