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Definition of "differentiate" [dif•fer•en•ti•ate]

  • To constitute the distinction between: subspecies that are differentiated by the markings on their wings. (verb-transitive)
  • To perceive or show the difference in or between; discriminate. (verb-transitive)
  • To make different by alteration or modification. (verb-transitive)
  • Mathematics To calculate the derivative or differential of (a function). (verb-transitive)
  • To become distinct or specialized; acquire a different character. (verb-intransitive)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "differentiate" in a sentence
  • "If you've ever heard the phrase "differentiate or die," this is what it means."
  • "In todays society as women have become more like men in dress and action and demeanor, the only thing that the younger generation has to differentiate is to wear LESS clothing, so to reveal a body that is female ...."
  • "While discussing your thrusts and parries with Justice Scalia, both of you committed a no-no when you misused the word differentiate."