dis·tin·guish / disˈtinggwish/ • v. [tr.] recognize or treat (someone or something) as different: the child is perfectly capable of distinguishing reality from fantasy. ∎ [intr.] perceive or point out a difference: bees are unable to distinguish between red, black, and various grays. ∎ manage to discern (something barely perceptible): it was too dark to distinguish anything more than their vague shapes. ∎ be an identifying or characteristic mark or property of: what distinguishes sports from games? | [as adj.] (distinguishing) a yellow brick house with no distinguishing features. ∎ (distinguish oneself) make oneself prominent and worthy of respect through one's behavior or achievements: many distinguished themselves in the fight against Hitler.DERIVATIVES: dis·tin·guish·a·ble adj.
To set apart as being separate or different; to point out an essential disparity.
To distinguish one case from another case means to show the dissimilarities between the two. It means to prove a case that is cited as applicable to the case currently in dispute is really inapplicable because the two cases are different.