AskDefine | Define differentia

Dictionary Definition

differentia n : distinguishing characteristics (especially in different species of a genus) [also: differentiae (pl)]

User Contributed Dictionary



From etyl la differentia.


  • a UK /dɪfəˈɹɛnʃɪə/


  1. semantics logic The distinguishing feature which marks something off from other members of the same family.
    • 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.
  2. The attribute that distinguishes a species from others of the same genus
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