1816, from Medieval Latin differentiatus, past participle of differentiare, from Latin differentia (see difference).
Originally a mathematical term; transitive and non-technical sense of "discriminate between" is from 1876. Earlier, difference had been used as a verb in this sense. Related: Differentiated; differentiating; differentiation.
1. A child may not differentiate between his imagination and the real world.
2. It's difficult to differentiate between the two varieties.
3. You can differentiate between the houses by the shape of their chimneys.
4. He never learned to differentiate between good and evil.
5. This genus of plants differentiate into many species.