1. a marking off or distinguishing as different: His distinction of sounds is excellent.
  2. the recognizing or noting of differences; discrimination: to make a distinction between right and wrong.
  3. a discrimination made between things as different; special regard or favoritism: Death comes to all without distinction.
  4. condition of being different; difference: There is a distinction between what he says and what he does.
  5. a distinguishing quality or characteristic: It has the distinction of being the oldest house in the town.
  6. a distinguishing or treating with special honor, attention, or favor.
  7. an act of bestowing, or a mark of, honor or favor.
  8. marked superiority; note; eminence.
  9. distinguished appearance.
  10. Obsolete. division; separation.


  1. the act or an instance of distinguishing or differentiating
  2. a distinguishing feature
  3. the state of being different or distinguishable
  4. special honour, recognition, or fame
  5. excellence of character; distinctive qualitiesa man of distinction
  6. distinguished appearance
  7. a symbol of honour or rank

c.1200, “one of the parts into which something is divided;” mid-14c. as “action of distinguishing,” from Old French distinction and directly from Latin distinctionem (nominative distinctio) “separation, distinction, discrimination,” noun of action from past participle stem of distinguere (see distinguish). Meaning “distinctive nature or character” is late 14c. Meaning “excellence or eminence” (what distinguishes from others) is first recorded 1690s.

54 queries 0.583