Pronunciation: (di-sting'gwish),[key] —v.t. 1. to mark off as different (often fol. by from or by): He was distinguished from the other boys by his height. 2. to recognize as distinct or different; recognize the salient or individual features or characteristics of: It is hard to distinguish her from her twin sister. 3. to perceive clearly by sight or other sense; discern; recognize: He could not distinguish many of the words. 4. to set apart as different; be a distinctive characteristic of; characterize: It is his Italian accent that distinguishes him. 5. to make prominent, conspicuous, or eminent: to distinguish oneself in battle. 6. to divide into classes; classify: Let us distinguish the various types of metaphor. 7. Archaic.to single out for or honor with special attention.
—v.i. 1. to indicate or show a difference (usually fol. by between).
2. to recognize or note differences; discriminate.