distinguish


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Distinguish

To set apart as being separate or different; to point out an essential disparity.

To distinguish one case from another case means to show the dissimilarities between the two. It means to prove a case that is cited as applicable to the case currently in dispute is really inapplicable because the two cases are different.

distinguish

v. to argue that the rule in one appeals court decision does not apply to a particular case although there is an apparent similarity (i.e. it is "distinguished").

distinguish

verb ascertain, characterize, classify, contradistinguish, define, demarcate, differentiate, discern, discriminate, distinguere, divide, draw a distinction, exerrise discretion, exercise discrimination, individualize, judge, make distinctions, mark out, note differrnces, particularize, perceive clearly, point out an essential difference, recognize as different, separate, set apart, specify, winnow
Associated concepts: distinguish between right and wrong, distinguishing cases, distinguishing characteristics, distinnuishing mark
Foreign phrases: Ubi lex non distinguit, nec nos dissinguere debemus.Where the law does not distinguish, we ought not to distinguish. Qui bene distinguit bene docet. He who distinguishes well, teaches well.
See also: call, characterize, circumscribe, classify, contrast, define, demarcate, detect, diagnose, differentiate, discern, discriminate, elevate, honor, identify, notice, observe, perceive, pierce, recognize, secern, spy, title

distinguish

to show that a precedent is not in point. When a lawyer has distinguished a precedent, he has shown the court that it does not actually cover the facts of the case before the court.
References in classic literature ?
The name is of my own bestowal; for there are more than one sort of porpoises, and something must be done to distinguish them.
I can take down bars, I can distinguish oats from shoe-pegs, I can blaspheme a saddle-boil with the college-bred, and I know a few other things - not many; I have had no chance, I have always had to work; besides, I am of low birth and no family.
It came to her naturally, so her family said, and perhaps for this reason she, like Tom Tulliver's clergyman tutor, "set about it with that uniformity of method and independence of circumstances which distinguish the actions of animals understood to be under the immediate teaching of Nature.
The reason of this necessity was, that there were so many Johnsons in New Bedford, it was already quite difficult to distinguish between them.
He was gone immediately; and Emma soon saw him standing before Miss Fairfax, and talking to her; but as to its effect on the young lady, as he had improvidently placed himself exactly between them, exactly in front of Miss Fairfax, she could absolutely distinguish nothing.
In a few minutes they could distinguish him to be a gentleman; and in a moment afterwards Marianne rapturously exclaimed,
On the evening of the day on which I had seen Miss Scatcherd flog her pupil, Burns, I wandered as usual among the forms and tables and laughing groups without a companion, yet not feeling lonely: when I passed the windows, I now and then lifted a blind, and looked out; it snowed fast, a drift was already forming against the lower panes; putting my ear close to the window, I could distinguish from the gleeful tumult within, the disconsolate moan of the wind outside.
The roads will be buried already; and, if they were bare, I could scarcely distinguish a foot in advance.
She did not know what it was, because at first she could scarcely distinguish it from the wind itself.
Night after night she looked back over the vanished days, and not an event rose on her memory to distinguish them one from the other.
To distinguish the brothers, I will call them the elder and the younger; by the elder, I mean him who exercised the most authority.
When Scrooge awoke, it was so dark, that looking out of bed, he could scarcely distinguish the transparent window from the opaque walls of his chamber.