dis·​tinc·​tive | \ di-ˈstiŋ(k)-tiv How to pronounce distinctive (audio) \

Definition of distinctive

1a : marking as separate or different : serving to distinguish the distinctive flight of the crane
b : having or giving an uncommon and appealing quality : having or giving style or distinction a distinctive table setting a writer with a distinctive prose style
2 linguistics : capable of making a segment of utterance different in meaning as well as in sound from an otherwise identical utterance

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Other Words from distinctive

distinctively adverb
distinctiveness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for distinctive

characteristic, individual, peculiar, distinctive mean indicating a special quality or identity. characteristic applies to something that distinguishes or identifies a person or thing or class. responded with her characteristic wit individual stresses qualities that distinguish one from all other members of the same kind or class. a highly individual writing style peculiar applies to qualities possessed only by a particular individual or class or kind and stresses rarity or uniqueness. an eccentricity that is peculiar to the British distinctive indicates qualities distinguishing and uncommon and often superior or praiseworthy. a distinctive aura of grace and elegance

Examples of distinctive in a Sentence

He had a very distinctive walk. This wine has a more distinctive flavor than that one. The store sells only the most distinctive chocolates.
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Recent Examples on the Web Obviously, Calder’s name commands attention, but his bold, raw aesthetic is especially attractive right now to women who want statement jewels that aren’t showy—but still have distinctive style. Jill N Newman, Town & Country, 21 May 2021 Owner Katherine Papageorge is selling the property and hopes a buyer will keep Royal Oak, which opened in 1975, intact with its stained glass fixtures and distinctive Victorian-era style. Janelle Bitker, San Francisco Chronicle, 26 Feb. 2021 The store is a celebration of distinctive Hawaiian style, merging a surf aesthetic with a cool, streetwear feel. Vogue, 22 Feb. 2021 Add to that the many parodies of Ross’ distinctive style – and hair – and Ross continues to have a major star presence in popular media. David Lyman, The Enquirer, 20 Nov. 2020 His mother was a New York Wasp who, for years, oversaw the copy department at Fortune, helping to mold that magazine’s distinctive style. Charles Mcgrath, The New Yorker, 29 Oct. 2020 The Focus on Minority Founders application can be found on cbrands.com/story/ventures, and the evaluation process aligns with Constellation’s ventures strategy of investing in emerging, unique and distinctive brands. Kimberly Wilson, Essence, 18 May 2021 When these five mistakes are avoided, there is a strategic plan that is concrete, distinctive, coherent, convincing, and actionable. Jeroen Kraaijenbrink, Forbes, 18 May 2021 The collages are also distinctive, deadpan, and decidedly offbeat. BostonGlobe.com, 5 May 2021

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for distinctive

see distinct

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Time Traveler for distinctive

Time Traveler

The first known use of distinctive was in the 15th century

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Statistics for distinctive

Last Updated

7 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Distinctive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/distinctive. Accessed 17 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for distinctive



English Language Learners Definition of distinctive

: having a quality or characteristic that makes a person or thing different from others : different in a way that is easy to notice
: appealing or interesting because of an unusual quality or characteristic


dis·​tinc·​tive | \ di-ˈstiŋk-tiv How to pronounce distinctive (audio) \

Kids Definition of distinctive

1 : clearly marking a person or a thing as different from others As they got closer he … could hear Mr. Sir's distinctive bark.— Louis Sachar, Holes
2 : having or giving a special look or way distinctive clothes

Other Words from distinctive

distinctively adverb


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