distinction - definition and synonyms


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  1. 1
    [countable] a difference between two things

    In practice, these distinctions are often blurred (=not made very clear).

    distinction between:

    Do other countries have the same distinction between amateur and professional athletes that we do?

    make/draw a distinction:

    Medical literature does not always make a distinction between the two terms. education for girls and boys.

    a clear/sharp distinction:

    This would lead to a clear distinction between management and the workforce.

  2. 2
    [uncountable] formal the excellent qualities, skills, or features that someone or something has
    of (great) distinction:

    We are fortunate that so many people of distinction and talent are present.

  3. 3
    [countable/uncountable] British a very high mark in an examination
    get/gain a distinction:

    She got a distinction in her piano exam.

    Kevin graduated with distinction in history and law.

  4. 4
    [countable] British formal an honour given to someone who has achieved a very high standard in their work or who has helped many people
  5. 5
    [singular] an unusual achievement or feature that makes someone or something different from other people or things
    have/hold/gain the distinction of:

    She holds the distinction of having been the first woman editor of the Harvard Law Review.

    The country has gained the dubious distinction of being one of the world’s most dangerous places for journalists.