Etymology
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distinguished (adj.)

c. 1600, "separate, separated from others that are similar or contiguous" (a sense now obsolete), past-participle adjective from distinguish. Sense of "better known than others in the same class, separated from the generality by superior abilities, character or achievement," hence "famous, celebrated," is by 1714; meaning "having an air of distinction" is from 1748.

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Definitions of distinguished

distinguished (adj.)
(used of persons) standing above others in character or attainment or reputation;
our distinguished professor
distinguished (adj.)
used of a person's appearance or behavior; befitting an eminent person;
his distinguished bearing
Synonyms: grand / imposing / magisterial
From wordnet.princeton.edu