tell apart


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Related to tell apart: tell against

tell (someone or something) apart

To be able to discern or distinguish two or more people or things that appear or seem similar. This one is real, and this one is the counterfeit—you can tell them apart by the small holographic mark at the top corner of the genuine document. Even our parents sometimes have trouble telling me and my brother apart.
See also: apart, tell

tell apart

Discern or distinguish, as in It's hard to tell the twins apart. [First half of 1900s]
See also: apart, tell

tell apart

v.
To perceive something as being different or distinct from something else: I couldn't tell apart the real $20 bill from the counterfeit one. The twins were identical, and we couldn't tell them apart.
See also: apart, tell
References in periodicals archive ?
As Konyok grows a moustache like Gherman's and starts dressing like him, the two men become almost as difficult to tell apart as the two sisters (who are finely cast for familial resemblance and then dressed similarly throughout).
Finally there's a guide for avid birders which explains why it's often so difficult to identify birds, from the challenges of separating immature colorings from adult to features which make common birds hard to tell apart. The focus on what elements make identification a challenge and how to overcome these challenges through alternate methods makes for a fine review of the major bird species and their unique attributes.
''The ability to tell apart two different languages is a byproduct of more general perceptual abilities used for detecting time order through hearing -- a useful adaptation for the rat.''
"From 1986 to the early 1990s underwriting wasn't that irrational, but between 1996 and 2000, underwriting just tell apart under market pressures.
Allen's work, In Telling or Tell Apart, portioned the poem out to a troupe of seven dancers, one word at a time, accompanied by a signature gesture which grew into movement phrases.
"They're hard to tell apart at a distance, you know."
But on the ground, they are easy to tell apart. Long-eared owls have two tufts of feathers on their heads and orange eyes.
No wonder electors find them hard to tell apart. By the way, the man in the clog is Tory Gordon Lindhurst.
This last is a factor in Koolhaas most pervasive legacy (stemming from his nostalgia for '50s architecture) so that, as in no other country, supposedly serious architecture can be almost impossible to tell apart from flashy commercialism.
Because they appear to hybridize, and are virtually impossible to tell apart, some botanists consider them all to be members of the same species.
A wild relative of wheat, jointed goatgrass so closely resembles the grain crop that for most of the year the two are virtually impossible to tell apart. The seeds, however, are usually distinctive.
The company currently fills 700.-800 orders a day, and supports 800 SKUs--many of which are look-alike versions of the same title for different platforms, and thus hard for order pickers to tell apart.
Yesterday we showed how actress Reese Witherspoon's daughter Ava, 17, is hard to tell apart from the 42-year-old US star.
A little bit easier to tell apart now that they're older, that wasn't always the case with Tia and Tamera Mowry.
No doubt they won't be so easy to tell apart, each as mundane as the next.