1. A marking off by visible signs; separation into parts; division. [Obs.]
The distinction of tragedy into acts was not known. --Dryden.
2. The act of distinguishing or denoting the differences between objects, or the qualities by which one is known from others; exercise of discernment; discrimination.
To take away therefore that error, which confusion breedeth, distinction is requisite. --Hooker.
3. That which distinguishes one thing from another; distinguishing quality; sharply defined difference; as, the distinction between real and apparent good.
The distinction betwixt the animal kingdom and the inferior parts of matter. --Locke.
4. Estimation of difference; regard to differences or distinguishing circumstance.
Maids, women, wives, without distinction, fall. --Dryden.
5. Conspicuous station; eminence; superiority; honorable estimation; as, a man of distinction.
Your country's own means of distinction and defense. --D. Webster.
Syn: -- Difference; variation, variety; contrast; diversity; contrariety; disagreement; discrimination; preference; superiority; rank; note; eminence.
n 1: a discrimination between things as different and distinct;
"it is necessary to make a distinction between love and
infatuation" [syn: differentiation]
2: high status importance owing to marked superiority; "a
scholar of great eminence" [syn: eminence, preeminence,
3: a distinguishing quality; "it has the distinction of being
the cheapest restaurant in town"
4: a distinguishing difference; "he learned the distinction
between gold and lead"