Definition of distant in English:


Syllabification: dis·tant
Pronunciation: /ˈdistənt


  • 1Far away in space or time: distant parts of the world I remember that distant afternoon
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    • And many of the photo studios used the backs of the photos as advertising space for a mysteriously distant Philadelphia.
    • Images of those back home remit to the audience the common connectivity among populations distant in space and culture.
    • These responses are tempting because they yield immediate gains, while their costs are distant in time and space, uncertain, and hard to detect.
  • 1.1 [predic.] (After a measurement) at a specified distance: the star is 30,000 light years distant from earth the town lay half a mile distant
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    • Croglin Low Hall is probably the house indicated, but it is at least a mile distant from the church, which has been rebuilt.
    • It may be worth noting that I'm watching the game on my computer roughly half a mile distant from the stadium.
    • Yet it is light years distant from Indonesia's troubles in the eyes of multinational companies and foreign portfolio managers.
  • 1.2(Of a sound) faint or vague because far away: the distant bark of some farm dog
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    • His voice sounded like the distant boom of thunder.
    • Suddenly all heads turned as the sound of a distant roar echoed over the plains.
    • The dragon roared again, a sound like distant thunder, and opened its mouth as if to swallow her.
  • 1.3Remote or far apart in resemblance or relationship: a distant acquaintance
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    • He said the errors may have been a function of the ‘loose and in some ways distant relationship he's been allowed to have with Today’.
    • We might have a distant relationship, but I don't wish her badly.
    • He has emerged from a period of unease about your and Julia's brief and palaeolithically distant college relationship to become a trusted friend.
    remote, indirect, slight
  • 1.4 [attributive] (Of a person) not closely related: a distant cousin
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    • Even if you counted distant third cousins, our ancestors might have been exposed to a grand total of 500 people in their lifetime.
    • ‘I met a distant cousin at one of these fairs,’ said a lady.
    • The cousins were distant (what we call in Scotland ‘out-cousins’) and monied and rather flash.


late Middle English: from Latin distant- 'standing apart', from the verb distare, from dis- 'apart' + stare 'stand'.

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