dis·​tinct | \di-ˈstiŋ(k)t \

Definition of distinct 

1 : distinguishable to the eye or mind as being discrete (see discrete sense 1) or not the same : separate a distinct cultural group teaching as distinct from research

2 : presenting a clear unmistakable impression a neat distinct handwriting

3 archaic : notably decorated

4a : notable a distinct contribution to scholarship

b : readily and unmistakably apprehended (see apprehend sense 2a) a distinct possibility of snow a distinct British accent the distinct odor of sulfur

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Other Words from distinct

distinctly \ -​ˈstiŋ(k)-​tlē , -​ˈstiŋ-​klē \ adverb
distinctness \ -​ˈstiŋ(k)t-​nəs , -​ˈstiŋk-​nəs \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for distinct

distinct, separate, discrete mean not being each and every one the same. distinct indicates that something is distinguished by the mind or eye as being apart or different from others. two distinct versions separate often stresses lack of connection or a difference in identity between two things. separate rooms discrete strongly emphasizes individuality and lack of connection. broke the job down into discrete stages

synonyms see in addition evident

Examples of distinct in a Sentence

There are three distinct categories. Each herb has its own distinct flavor. The phrase has three distinct meanings. There was the distinct smell of something burning. The outline became less and less distinct as the light faded. We had the distinct impression that they were lying.
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Recent Examples on the Web

That, paired with what is expected to be an overriding anti-Trump national climate, should give him a distinct advantage over Barletta. Dylan Scott, Vox, "Lou Barletta wins Republican nomination in the 2018 Pennsylvania Senate race," 16 May 2018 Some of those suggestions are sure to face opposition from those fearful of an annual free agent free-for-all or concerned by the removal of financial constraints on alumni whose schools already operate at a distinct advantage in recruiting. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Entering the NBA draft shouldn't mean losing NCAA eligibility | Tim Sullivan," 5 Apr. 2018 Braces from Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski, and an effort from Kinsley Coman, have given Bayern a distinct advantage heading into the second leg in Instanbul. SI.com, "Besiktas vs Bayern Munich Preview: Recent Form, Key Battle, Team News & More," 13 Mar. 2018 Director Anthony Hemingway—who helmed half of FX’s American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson and helms half of Unsolved, including its first two episodes—does an admirable job making each of the three timelines visually distinct. Scott Meslow, GQ, "Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G.," 1 Mar. 2018 While a growing number of companies offer cryptocurrency, including market leader Coinbase and payment service Square, Robinhood’s service is distinct because the company doesn’t charge direct commissions or trading fees. Jeff John Roberts, Fortune, "Robinhood Adds Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin in Push to Expand Crypto," 12 July 2018 But both are also self-proclaimed nations with a sense that their history and culture are distinct. The Economist, "The siren call of separatism," 12 July 2018 There are also plenty of things that make these three collections unique, original, and distinct. Noah Johnson, GQ, "Dior, Louis Vuitton, and Alyx Plot the Future of Menswear," 27 June 2018 But make no mistake, Schneiderman’s case is distinct. Kaylen Ralph, Glamour, "Say It With Me: Eric Schneiderman's Replacement Needs to Be a Woman," 10 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'distinct.' 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 distinct

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for distinct

Middle English, from Latin distinctus, from past participle of distinguere — see distinguish

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Statistics for distinct

Last Updated

31 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for distinct

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

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More Definitions for distinct



English Language Learners Definition of distinct

: different in a way that you can see, hear, smell, feel, etc. : noticeably different

: easy to see, hear, smell, feel, etc.

: strong and definite


dis·​tinct | \di-ˈstiŋkt \

Kids Definition of distinct

1 : different from each other distinct species

2 : easy to notice or understand a distinct odor

Other Words from distinct

distinctly adverb

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Comments on distinct

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


to express warning or disapproval

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