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 2a) : 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



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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 Founded on white European models and obstinately focused on the distant past, most U.S. classical music and opera institutions have been slower than American society at large to confront racial inequity. Zachary Woolfe And Joshua Barone New York Times, Star Tribune, "Classical music's race problem," 7 Aug. 2020 The money should be there for schools to be well-ventilated and have room for kids to be physically distant. Adam Rogers, Wired, "Could a Janky, Jury-Rigged Air Purifier Help Fight Covid-19?," 6 Aug. 2020 All team members are also required to wear masks, stay socially distant and were encouraged to hold each other accountable if someone was without their mask for any length of time. Lisa Respers France, CNN, "Hollywood bubbles back to business," 6 Aug. 2020 Just what precautions might be taken for the next session are unclear, but legislative leaders have stepped up cleaning of the Capitol and explored ways for lawmakers and the general public to be physically distant during the session. Gray Rohrer, orlandosentinel.com, "Who’s got COVID-19 in Florida? Three lawmakers, two sheriffs and two prison leaders," 5 Aug. 2020 And the geologic record has shown us the poles have moved before, and even switched places, in the distant past. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "Earth's Magnetic Field Can Flip 10 Times Faster Than We Thought," 8 July 2020 In the not so distant past, that position would’ve been yawn-worthy. Tom Benning, Dallas News, "Club for Growth, key conservative group, says Texas isn’t a battleground but has ‘clearly gotten closer’," 25 June 2020 Soft eggshells had been discovered for other ancient animals, such as dinosaurs’ distant ancestors and extinct flying reptiles called pterosaurs, but not within the clade of Dinosauria itself. Michael Greshko, National Geographic, "First soft-shelled dinosaur eggs shed light on prehistoric parenting," 17 June 2020 Purge rates have soared since Roberts’ decision in Shelby County, especially in the states the chief justice believed prejudice was some artifact of a distant past. David Daley, Time, "Voter Suppression Is Still One of the Greatest Obstacles to a More Just America," 12 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for distant

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

11 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Distant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/distant. Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for distant


How to pronounce distant (audio)

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

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Spanish Central: Translation of distant

Nglish: Translation of distant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of distant for Arabic Speakers

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