dis·​tinct | \di-ˈstiŋ(k)t \

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 \-​ˈstiŋ(k)-​tlē, -​ˈstiŋ-​klē \ adverb
distinctness \-​ˈstiŋ(k)t-​nəs, -​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

But Republicans broke with this compact in two distinct and important ways. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "The 2018 campaign revealed the true fissure in American democracy," 6 Nov. 2018 The interior is even more distinct from the Civic and has a high-end feel. Gary Gastelu, Fox News, "The 2019 Honda Insight is a strangely normal hybrid," 24 Aug. 2018 In a court filing addressing the latest suit, Bank of America made a similar argument, saying the 11 borrowers were improperly filing a single case when their claims were distinct and unrelated. Deon Roberts, charlotteobserver, "Bank of America destroyed documents as borrowers tried to save their homes, suit says," 5 June 2018 Its soundtrack was one of the most distinct and contemporary efforts in video games. Joshua Rivera, GQ, "The Fits in Watch Dogs 2 Were So Good It Still Messes Me Up," 4 June 2018 Sarah Chadwick explained how #NeverAgain activists connected with other young activists from Chicago over their mutual, but distinct experiences of loss. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Gun Control Activists Share Pain and Plans at the Teen Vogue Summit," 2 June 2018 And while the two cases are distinct and separate, the symbolism of these events coming roughly a month apart, less than eight months after allegations against Weinstein went public, is difficult to ignore. Brian Lowry, CNN, "Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein cases send a Time's Up message," 25 May 2018 Narratives compress these distinct pieces into a simple national story. Julia Azari, Vox, "Narratives are simple. Elections are complicated.," 8 Nov. 2018 Every character has a distinct way of dressing, based on their looks in the comics, that's integral to their development. Halie Lesavage, Glamour, "Why The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Is the Perfect Last-Minute Halloween Costume Inspiration," 25 Oct. 2018

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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Statistics for distinct

Last Updated

28 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for distinct

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

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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 \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on distinct

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with distinct

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for distinct

Spanish Central: Translation of distinct

Nglish: Translation of distinct for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of distinct for Arabic Speakers

Comments on distinct

What made you want to look up distinct? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to enclose within walls

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