dis·​tant | \ ˈdi-stənt How to pronounce distant (audio) \

Definition of distant

1a : separated in space : away a mile distant
b : situated at a great distance (see distance entry 1 sense 2c) : far-off a distant galaxy
c : having a great amount of separation between each other : separated by a great distance from each other : far apart visiting distant places distant campuses
d : far behind finished a distant third
2 : separated in a relationship other than spatial a distant cousin the distant past
3 : different in kind from two very distant backgrounds
4 : reserved or aloof in personal relationship : cold was distant and distracted
5a : going a long distance distant voyages
b : concerned with remote (see remote entry 1 sense 2) things distant thoughts

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Other Words from distant

distantly adverb
distantness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for distant


away, deep, far, faraway, far-flung, far-off, remote, removed


close, near, nearby, nigh

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Examples of distant in a Sentence

In the distant past, dinosaurs roamed the earth. The day I left home is now a distant memory.

Recent Examples on the Web

But sensitivities are especially high at the moment, with the peace process a distant memory and Israel heading to elections next month. Washington Post, "Clashes undermine fragile truce over Jerusalem holy site," 12 Aug. 2019 Tully and his collaborators make measurements of distant galaxies, gather similar measurements from other teams and process all the information to deduce the motions of objects that, to the human eye, appear frozen in place in the sky. NBC News, "Master plan of the universe revealed in new galaxy maps," 11 Aug. 2019 The two glowing eyes are actually two distant galaxies. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "This sideways galaxy looks just like a lightsaber," 9 Aug. 2019 Researchers immediately heralded the GAN as a way for computers to fill in the gaps in our understanding of everything around us, to map, say, parts of distant galaxies that telescopes can’t penetrate. Fortune, "Fighting Deepfakes Gets Real," 24 July 2019 But everyone else, aside from detectives, seems to be moving on, leaving the story of the beloved teenager’s disappearance a distant memory, Jones said. Saja Hindi, The Denver Post, "A fate “worse than death”: Aurora teen Lashaya Stine still missing after 3 years, family suspects human trafficking," 23 July 2019 By the next time the Gators play Mississippi State, in 2025 in the Swamp, Mullen will be a distant memory to fans and unknown to Bulldogs’ players. Edgar Thompson, orlandosentinel.com, "Mississippi State players recall UF coach Dan Mullen’s return last season," 18 July 2019 But first, gotta be aliens: For the first time, a weird signal was pinpointed to a distant galaxy several billion light-years away. Ashley Shaffer, USA TODAY, "'I wouldn't tell anybody this'," 27 June 2019 The attendance woes of early April are nothing but a distant memory now. Betsy Helfand, Twin Cities, "Twins fans have Target Field buzzing again," 16 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'distant.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of distant

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for distant

Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin distant-, distans, present participle of distare to stand apart, be distant, from dis- + stare to stand — more at stand

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Statistics for distant

Last Updated

20 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for distant

The first known use of distant was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of distant

: existing or happening far away in space : separated by space
: far away in time : happening far in the past or far into the future
: having to do with something that is not related to what is happening where you are or at the present time


dis·​tant | \ ˈdi-stənt How to pronounce distant (audio) \

Kids Definition of distant

1 : existing or happening at a place far away a distant planet distant thunder
2 : far away in time the distant future
3 : not closely related distant cousins
4 : cold entry 1 sense 5, unfriendly a distant manner

Other Words from distant

distantly adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on distant

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for distant

Spanish Central: Translation of distant

Nglish: Translation of distant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of distant for Arabic Speakers

Comments on distant

What made you want to look up distant? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a usually brief trip or an expedition

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