dis·tant | \ˈdis-tənt \

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

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

No wonder their respective husbands (an alternately stern and avuncular Chiké Johnson; a cold and distant Matt Zambrano) can seem more like business partners than soul mates, in marriages that are less passionate than convenient. Mike Fischer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee Rep delivers darkness on the edge of 'Our Town'," 14 Apr. 2018 Meanwhile, an unpredictable blaze raged in the not-so-distant background. Michael Mcgough, sacbee, "A California couple wed with a massive wildfire burning behind them. Then, they ran," 9 July 2018 From its perch in space, the scope will be able to see the universe’s most distant objects, stars that formed right after the Big Bang and whose light is just now reaching us. Eric Niiler, WIRED, "Delays, Rising Costs Plague NASA's James Webb Space Telescope," 27 June 2018 There will likely be many more exoplanets discovered in the future, as NASA continues to develop new telescopes and other instruments to measure far-distant space objects. Emily Matchar, Smithsonian, "NASA’s New Exoplanet Travel Bureau Lets You “Tour” Far-Distant Planets In 360 Degrees," 7 June 2018 While New Horizons spent a decade racing to visit some of the most distant objects in the solar system, Rosetta explored a single comet called 67P that spent the last few years a little closer to the sun. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Pluto May Have Been Formed by a Billion Comets," 25 May 2018 The other relies on measuring the speed at which distant objects recede. The Economist, "For the first time, astronomers have a reliable map of the heavens," 26 Apr. 2018 With telescopes on Earth, our planet’s atmosphere similarly distorts images taken of distant objects in space. Nick Lunn, National Geographic, "First-of-Its-Kind Footage Shows Cells Moving in Live Animals," 19 Apr. 2018 The second event focuses on an 85% gibbous moon and a chance to view distant celestial objects as well as the evening planets Jupiter and Venus. Brandon Patterson, Detroit Free Press, "Sleeping Bear Dunes unveils 2018 star party calendar, first event this Saturday," 10 Apr. 2018

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

15 Oct 2018

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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 \

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

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