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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web The dualism of Francis Bacon and Descartes held reason to be distinct from and superior to matter. Alexander Zaitchik, The New Republic, "The Urgent Case for Shrinking the Economy," 28 Dec. 2020 The three disciplines are interdependent but distinct. Quanta Magazine, "How Claude Shannon Invented the Future," 22 Dec. 2020 That lofty new status, Alworth says, came with new pressures to differentiate literature from the visual arts, with each becoming its own distinct and separate sphere. Washington Post, "Illustrated novels have a vibrant history. A rich new era may be upon us.," 22 Dec. 2020 Yes, not an inability, but a distinct slowing down of that process. James Freeman, WSJ, "Spygate Investigation Not Over Yet," 22 Dec. 2020 For the time being, these two new lawsuits are separate and distinct both from the federal case and from each other. Kate Cox, Ars Technica, "Google committed “antitrust evils,” colluded with Facebook, new lawsuit says," 17 Dec. 2020 That said, the reactions that have emerged appear most often to be slight but distinct (and concentrated on the second day after vaccination). Amy Davidson Sorkin, The New Yorker, "What an F.D.A. Committee Weighed in Voting for the Pfizer COVID Vaccine," 11 Dec. 2020 The ways in which people buy gadgets, too, have become less distinct and more infrastructural. John Herman, Star Tribune, "2020 has given new life to gadgets," 18 Nov. 2020 Based on a design by Victor Edelstein, the ensemble has a distinct — and ironic — bridal feel that’s more grown-up than her Cinderella wedding dress. Los Angeles Times, "How ‘The Crown’ captured Princess Diana’s evolution from shy teen to style icon," 15 Nov. 2020

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.

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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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for distinct

Last Updated

12 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Distinct.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/distinct. Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for distinct


How to pronounce distinct (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of distinct

: different in a way that you can see, hear, smell, feel, etc. : noticeably different
: easy to see, hear, smell, feel, etc.
: strong and definite


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

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Comments on distinct

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