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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Police also released images of a distinctive SUV seen near German's home that was driven by a person wearing an orange shirt. CBS News, 20 Sep. 2022 The pieces in each designer capsule offer customers the distinctive visual codes and aesthetic each brand has achieved fame through—but at an affordable price point. André-naquian Wheeler, Vogue, 20 Sep. 2022 Design Trust commissioned them to produce elements of the park, such as copper lighting fixtures, as well as signage made from the distinctive chopping boards seen at butchers around the city. Rebecca Cairns, CNN, 19 Sep. 2022 Wearing their distinctive uniform of dark green tunic and trousers, the Royal Archers perform ceremonial duties primarily in Scotland. WSJ, 19 Sep. 2022 From these, the researchers extracted more than 23,000 click patterns, and then used an artificial intelligence system to determine which of them were distinctive identity codas. Tom Metcalfe, NBC News, 19 Sep. 2022 Underneath these distinctive design touches, the Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe retains the 25 miles of electric range and 56-MPGe efficiency rating. Sebastian Blanco, Car and Driver, 18 Sep. 2022 The sauce’s distinctive color, which comes from the red dragon fruit, or pitaya. Emily Heil, Washington Post, 21 July 2022 Borsch, commonly called borscht in the U.S., is a hearty soup with beets, which give it its distinctive bright red color. Alysha Witwicki, Journal Sentinel, 28 June 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near distinctive



distinctive insignia

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Last Updated

23 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Distinctive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/distinctive. Accessed 4 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for distinctive


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

More from Merriam-Webster on distinctive

Nglish: Translation of distinctive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of distinctive for Arabic Speakers


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