c. 1200, "one of the parts into which something is divided;" mid-14c. as "action of distinguishing," from Old French distinction and directly from Latin distinctionem (nominative distinctio) "separation, distinction, discrimination," noun of action from past participle stem of distinguere (see distinguish). Meaning "distinctive nature or character" is late 14c. Meaning "excellence or eminence" (what distinguishes from others) is first recorded 1690s.
1. Lewis emerges as a composer of distinction and sensitivity.
2. Steve Crabb can fly the flag with distinction for Britain in Barcelona.
3. Many people make a sharp distinction between humans and other animals.
4. He displayed a sublime indifference to the distinction between right and wrong.
5. A distinction must be made between archaeology proper and science-based archaeology.