dis·​tinct | \ di-ˈstiŋ(k)t How to pronounce distinct (audio) \

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

Other Words from distinct

distinctly \ di-​ˈstiŋ(k)-​tlē How to pronounce distinct (audio) , -​ˈstiŋ-​klē \ adverb
distinctness \ di-​ˈstiŋ(k)t-​nəs How to pronounce distinct (audio) , -​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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Football is clearly a separate and distinct entity in the NCAA and could benefit from its own governance structure. Sara Tidwell, The Enquirer, 28 July 2022 Dividing your portfolio into several buckets and assigning each bucket to a separate and distinct goal runs contrary to the usual asset allocation framework, where the entire portfolio is segmented into specific percentages of asset classes. Chris Carosa, Forbes, 25 July 2022 There are two distinct (but genetically identical) populations of monarchs in the United States, and both are migratory. Wired, 9 July 2022 Contrary to established English law, Peters treats poverty as a condition that should be prevented or alleviated, rather than treating the poor as a distinct class whose rights were narrowly limited by law. Marilynne Robinson, Harper’s Magazine , 20 July 2022 Less remarked-upon, but equally important, is his unabashed investment in symbolism, the kind of high-concept thinking that can push a movie along the axis of its ideas, distinct from its emotional logic or its genre satisfaction. K. Austin Collins, Rolling Stone, 20 July 2022 Their keepers say the bison have distinct personalities and changing moods; on a bad day, Haydes has been known to take his bucket of food and fling it around the field (and then appear remorseful when his dinner is soggy). Victoria Turk, Wired, 19 July 2022 The patty is cooked on a woodfire grill, giving it a distinct smoky flavor with some caramelization. Megha Mcswain, Chron, 19 July 2022 Even the nomadic harfoots have their own distinct look. Devan Coggan, EW.com, 19 July 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for distinct

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

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Last Updated

4 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Distinct.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/distinct. Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for distinct


dis·​tinct | \ di-ˈstiŋkt How to pronounce distinct (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on distinct

Nglish: Translation of distinct for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of distinct for Arabic Speakers


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