noun  dis·crim·i·na·tion \dis-ˌkri-mə-ˈnā-shən\

Simple Definition of discrimination

: the practice of unfairly treating a person or group of people differently from other people or groups of people

: the ability to recognize the difference between things that are of good quality and those that are not

: the ability to understand that one thing is different from another thing

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of discrimination

a :  the act of discriminating

   b :  the process by which two stimuli differing in some aspect are responded to differently

2:  the quality or power of finely distinguishing

a :  the act, practice, or an instance of discriminating categorically rather than individually

   b :  prejudiced or prejudicial outlook, action, or treatment <racial discrimination>

discriminational \-shnəl, -shə-nəl\ adjective

Editor's note: Discriminating Among Meanings of discrimination 

Discrimination has senses with neutral, positive, and negative connotations. On the one hand, it can refer to "the act (or power) of distinguishing" or to "good taste, refinement." These meanings, sometimes reinforced with modifiers (as in a fine or a nice discrimination), stress an ability to perceive differences as an index of unusual intelligence. On the other hand, when the perception of difference is marked by invidious distinction or hostility, the word (often followed by against) takes on very negative overtones, as in the senses "act of discriminating categorically rather than individually" (discrimination against women, age discrimination) and "a prejudiced outlook or course of action" (racial discrimination). The original, neutral sense of discrimination, "the act of distinguishing," came into English by the early 17th century, followed by the positive one associated with superior discernment in the 18th century. Discrimination in the "prejudice" sense has been in use since the early 19th century, almost 200 years ago.

Source: Merriam-Webster


Posted 4 years ago | Edited 4 years ago