discriminate (v.)

1620s, from Latin discriminatus, past participle of discriminare "to divide, separate," from discrimen (genitive discriminis) "interval, distinction, difference," derived noun from discernere "to separate, set apart, divide, distribute; distinguish, perceive," from dis- "off, away" (see dis-) + cernere "distinguish, separate, sift" (from PIE root *krei- "to sieve," thus "discriminate, distinguish"). The adverse (usually racial) sense is first recorded 1866, American English. Positive sense remains in discriminating. Related: Discriminated. Also used 17c. and after as an adjective meaning "distinct."