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 Her distinctive voice has become an integral part of the Atlanta landscape. Rodney Ho, ajc, 26 July 2022 With her sterling soprano, Andrews built a career on her voice — but a 1997 throat operation permanently damaged her vocal cords, robbing her of the distinctive singing voice audiences had come to love. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, 16 June 2022 The charm of this novel lies in its sharp wit, expansive world-building, and distinctive voice. Hanif Abdurraqib, BostonGlobe.com, 10 June 2022 And not only does the actor embody the boxer's mannerisms—most notably in that highly distinctive voice—but also his physicality. Philip Ellis, Men's Health, 9 June 2022 Contrasting the pursuit of a distinctive voice that obsessed both male and female writers in the past, Marche describes this approach as the literature of pose. Samuel Goldman, The Week, 23 May 2022 Gomez said, absolutely nailing Cyrus's distinctive voice. Aimée Lutkin, ELLE, 16 May 2022 Always have a distinctive voice that is clearly identifiable as your brand’s. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 27 Apr. 2022 But his distinctive, historic voice will echo through the city forever. Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times, 14 Apr. 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

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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

6 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Distinctive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/distinctive. Accessed 9 Aug. 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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