distant

adjective dis·tant \ ˈdis-tənt \
Updated on: 5 Dec 2017

Definition of distant

1 a : separated in space : away
  • a mile distant
b : situated at a great distance (see 1distance 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
5 a : going a long distance
  • distant voyages
b : concerned with remote (see 1remote 2) things
  • distant thoughts

distantly

adverb

distantness

noun

Examples of distant in a Sentence

  1. In the distant past, dinosaurs roamed the earth.

  2. The day I left home is now a distant memory.

Recent Examples of distant from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of 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



DISTANT Defined for English Language Learners

distant

adjective

Definition of distant for English Language Learners

  • : 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


DISTANT Defined for Kids

distant

adjective dis·tant \ ˈdi-stənt \

Definition of distant for Students

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 : 1cold 5, unfriendly
  • a distant manner

distantly

adverb


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

a man who seduces many women

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu-jedi-training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!