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Characterize vs Distinguish vs Mark vs Qualify

Characterize, distinguish, mark, qualify are comparable when they mean to be a peculiar or significant quality or feature of something.

Characterize stresses that quality or feature (or those qualities or features) which stands out and identifies the person or thing considered; often an obvious or striking feature rather than a fundamental or basic quality is implied.

Distinguish (see also DISTINGUISH), on the other hand, stresses a feature, a quality, or a characteristic that makes a person or thing different from others or that sets him or it apart from and sometimes above others.

Mark (see also MARK vb) implies the presence of noteworthy qualities or features that are the outward signs of an inward character.

Qualify (see also PREPARE, MODERATE) occasionally implies a quality, characteristic, or description that is attributed by the immediate writer or speaker to a person or thing as fitted to him or it.