Definition of distant
1a : separated in space : away a mile distantb : situated at a great distance (see 1distance 2c) : far-off a distant galaxyc : having a great amount of separation between each other : separated by a great distance from each other : far apart visiting distant places distant campusesd : 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
5a : going a long distance distant voyagesb : concerned with remote (see 1remote 2) things distant thoughts
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 of distant from the Web
The latter requirement in particular discourages candidates of color who can’t afford to go years without a livable wage in pursuit of a distant dream.
What has largely been a distant threat to many countries in the West has been a matter of life and death in the northeastern corner of the European Union.
The CBS show is a distant third to ABC and NBC in the evening news rankings, and despite some critical success, has not been able to close the gap.
For a small and relatively poor country, that was, indeed, a distant and ambitious goal.
All in all, a relaxing humdrum Sunday during a popular holiday weekend that has, in the almost-distant past, created unsavory headlines.
But Philip D. Murphy, a wealthy former Wall Street banker, who has dug deep into his own pockets to propel his campaign and has received a lengthy list of endorsements, has led in recent polls, with Mr. Johnson a distant second.
The garden is meandering and hushed, except for the distant sound of a waterfall luring you downhill, and the seasonal fireworks of cardiocrinum, species rhododendron, hydrangea and peony bloom.
February 2013: The awards-show hug evolves into a distant hand clasp at the Grammys.
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
First Known Use: 14th century
DISTANT Defined for English Language Learners
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
Seen and Heard
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