dis·tin·guish vt: to identify or explain differences in or from
distinguish ed the cases on factual grounds

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

I verb ascertain, characterize, classify, contradistinguish, define, demarcate, differentiate, discern, discriminate, distinguere, divide, draw a distinction, exercise discretion, exercise discrimination, individualize, internoscere, judge, make distinctions, mark out, note differences, particularize, perceive clearly, point out an essential difference, recognize as different, secemere, separate, set apart, specify, winnow associated concepts: distinguish between right and wrong, distinguishing cases, distinguishing characteristics, distinguishing mark foreign phrases:
- Ubl lex non distingult, nee nos distinguere debemus. — Where the law does not distinguish, we ought not to distinguish
- Qui bene distingult bene docet. — He who distinguishes well, teaches well
II index call (title), characterize, circumscribe (define), classify, contrast, demarcate, detect, diagnose, differentiate, discern (discriminate), elevate, honor, identify, notice (observe), perceive, pierce (discern), recognize (perceive), secern, spy

Burton's Legal Thesaurus. . 2006

To tell one thing apart from another; to point out differences between things; to show how one case is significantly different from another.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.

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.

Collins dictionary of law. . 2001.

To differentiate the ruling in one case from another even though both may have similarities of fact.
Category: Small Claims Court & Lawsuits

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

v. In a judicial decision, or an argument such as a brief in support of a particular legal outcome, to note or argue that a prior decision of the same or another court is inapplicable as precedent, because of significant differences in the facts or in the legal posture of the two cases.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.

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

Dictionary from West's Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005.

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

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

   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").

Law dictionary. . 2013.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Distinguish — Dis*tin guish, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Distinguished}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Distinguishing}.] [F. distinguer, L. distinguere, distinctum; di = dis + stinguere to quench, extinguish; prob. orig., to prick, and so akin to G. stechen, E. stick, and perh.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • distinguish — 1 Distinguish, differentiate, discriminate, demarcate are synonymous when they mean to point out or mark the differences between things that are or seem to be much alike or closely related. Distinguish presupposes sources of confusion; the things …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • distinguish — [di stiŋ′gwish] vt. [< L distinguere, to separate, discriminate < dis , apart + stinguere, to prick < IE base * steig , to prick, pierce (> STICK, Ger sticken, to embroider, Gr stigma) + ISH, sense 2] 1. to separate or mark off by… …   English World dictionary

  • distinguish — [v1] tell the difference analyze, ascertain, categorize, characterize, classify, collate, decide, demarcate, determinate, determine, diagnose, diagnosticate, differentiate, discriminate, divide, estimate, extricate, figure out, finger*, identify …   New thesaurus

  • distinguish — ► VERB 1) recognize, show, or treat as different. 2) manage to discern (something barely perceptible). 3) be an identifying characteristic of. 4) (distinguish oneself) make oneself worthy of respect. DERIVATIVES distinguishable adjective …   English terms dictionary

  • Distinguish — Dis*tin guish, v. i. 1. To make distinctions; to perceive the difference; to exercise discrimination; with between; as, a judge distinguishes between cases apparently similar, but differing in principle. [1913 Webster] 2. To become distinguished… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • distinguish — 1560s, from M.Fr. distinguiss , stem of distinguer, or directly from L. distinguere to separate between, separate by pricking, from dis apart (see DIS (Cf. dis )) + stinguere to prick (see EXTINGUISH (Cf. extinguish), and Cf. L. instinguere …   Etymology dictionary

  • distinguish */*/*/ — UK [dɪˈstɪŋɡwɪʃ] / US verb Word forms distinguish : present tense I/you/we/they distinguish he/she/it distinguishes present participle distinguishing past tense distinguished past participle distinguished 1) [intransitive/transitive] to recognize …   English dictionary

  • distinguish — dis|tin|guish [ dı stıŋgwıʃ ] verb *** 1. ) intransitive or transitive to recognize the differences between things: DIFFERENTIATE: He learned to distinguish a great variety of birds, animals, and plants. distinguish between: They concluded that… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • distinguish — 01. Children under the age of 4 cannot always [distinguish] between the truth and a lie. 02. Witnesses to the crime said the suspect had no [distinguishing] features. 03. The Beatles [distinguished] themselves as perhaps the most important… …   Grammatical examples in English

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