distinctive

adjective
dis·​tinc·​tive | \ di-ˈstiŋ(k)-tiv \

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

Equal parts annoyed and intrigued, Agarwal began to wonder how the falling droplets made their distinctive sounds—an explanation science didn't have. Sarah Gibbens, National Geographic, "Here’s What Makes a Dripping Faucet Go ‘Plink’," 22 June 2018 The Academy of St Martin in the Fields, under the musical direction of violinist Joshua Bell, brings its distinctive sound to Copley Symphony Hall in this La Jolla Music Society concert. Lisa Deaderick, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Top weekend events: San Diego Latino Film Festival, San Diego Cake Show, Malashock Dance anniversary," 16 Mar. 2018 This makes for a distinctive, and highly pleasing, softness. Mark Feeney, BostonGlobe.com, "At Yale: on the threshold and under the volcano," 6 July 2018 All differ somewhat in ornamental detail — tiny Buddhas, flowers, birds, even cast locks of hair — but all have a similarly stylish presence that’s distinctive, yet hard to define. New York Times, "The Art of Staying Cool: 10 Can’t-Miss Summer Shows in New York," 4 July 2018 But a side of elote (corn) was distinctive, seasoned with Cajun spice along with chile powder and topped with plenty of lime and cilantro. Bud Kennedy, star-telegram, "A life of love and tamales: Virgie Martinez retires from backyard landmark Mi Cocinita," 26 June 2018 Among all the flora in the Forest Preserve District of Will County, one is so distinctive, so vulnerable and so rare, that officials will not reveal its location. Susan Demar Lafferty, Daily Southtown, "Will County forest officials secretly preserve rare orchid," 6 June 2018 Some prefer to have a distinctive voice and perspective. David Roberts, Vox, "My advice for aspiring explainer journalists," 9 Dec. 2018 Part nostalgic tribute, part fashion brag, stylish throwbacks like Scott’s prove that the distinctive look is here to stay. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Travis Scott Brings Back a Classic (And Kanye-Approved) Piece of Philo-Era Celine," 12 Nov. 2018

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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Last Updated

12 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for distinctive

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

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More Definitions for distinctive

distinctive

adjective

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

distinctive

adjective
dis·​tinc·​tive | \ di-ˈstiŋk-tiv \

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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Comments on distinctive

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