Definition of distant in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈdɪst(ə)nt/


1Far away in space or time: distant parts of the world I remember that distant afternoon
More example sentences
  • 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.
faraway, far off, far;
remote, out of the way, outlying, abroad, far-flung, obscure;
isolated, cut off, off the beaten track
long ago, bygone;
ancient, prehistoric, antediluvian, immemorial
literary olden, of yore
away, off, apart, separated
1.1 [predicative] (After a measurement) at a specified distance: the star is 30,000 light years distant from Earth the town lay half a mile distant
More example sentences
  • 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 because far away: the distant bark of some farm dog
More example sentences
  • 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
More example sentences
  • 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 of the King
More example sentences
  • 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.
2(Of a person) not intimate; cool or reserved: his children found him strangely distant she and my father were distant with each other
More example sentences
  • He was distant with his daughter and didn't even bother to attend her wedding.
  • But something seemed to have changed between them, and now they were distant with each other.
  • He was so distant and reserved now, but I had no idea how he had been before.
aloof, reserved, remote, detached, unapproachable, stand-offish, keeping people at arm's length;
withdrawn, restrained, reticent, taciturn, uncommunicative, undemonstrative, unforthcoming;
cool, cold, frigid, chilly, icy, frosty;
formal, stiff, stuffy, ceremonious, unresponsive, unfriendly, haughty, forbidding, austere, mean-looking
2.1Not paying attention; remote: a distant look in his eyes
More example sentences
  • Now his attention was on the distant mental strings of summoning power he wielded.
  • He thought a moment and then nodded, but a distant look had overtaken his eyes.
  • ‘It's so distant and remote, they thought nobody would ever find it,’ says county sheriff Ronnie Oakes.
distracted, absent-minded, absent, faraway, detached, distrait, vague


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

Words that rhyme with distant

assistant, coexistent, consistent, equidistant, existent, insistent, persistent, resistant, subsistent, water-resistant

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: dis|tant

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