• (British) IPA: /dɪfəˈɹɛnʃɪə/

differentia (plural differentiae)

  1. (semantics, logic, taxonomy) A distinguishing feature which marks a species off from other members of the same genus.
    • 1902, William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience, Folio Society 2008, p. 38:
      That character, it seems to me, should be regarded as the practically important differentia of religion for our purpose.
    • 2017, Kory Stamper, Word By Word, Vintage 2018, p. 116:
      In the case of a word like “surfboard,” the differentiae seem pretty clear. How is this board different from all other boards?

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