physical distance


: a greater than usual physical separation between people during the outbreak of a contagious disease in order to minimize exposure and reduce the transmission of infection
Health professionals are urging the public to … stay home when sick and keep a physical distance between oneself and others to reduce the risk of being exposed to the virus.The Norman Transcript (Norman, Oklahoma)
The models don't reveal how long Canadians will have to maintain physical distance, but they do indicate the measures will need to be in place "for a considerable amount of time," [Dr. Theresa] Tam said.Samantha Beattie
compare social distance sense 2

Examples of physical distance in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In that moment, the two of them broke down on the phone, the physical distance between them collapsed by grief. Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic, 7 Mar. 2024 The physical distance from Huwara is short, but the leap from one world to another is large. Roger Cohen, New York Times, 31 Jan. 2024 Jakub’s pregnant wife back home, Lenka (Carey Mulligan), doesn’t know, and hasn’t for some time, even before physical distance widened the chasm between them. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 21 Feb. 2024 These interactions allow individuals to express themselves, share personal experiences, alleviate feelings of loneliness and create bonds that transcend physical distance. Mark Travers, Forbes, 18 Feb. 2024 Countries that were geopolitically aligned traded over 6% more with each other, regardless of their physical distance, UNCTAD found. Peter Vanham, Fortune, 20 Dec. 2023 Their widespread use democratized remote work, breaking down the barriers that were previously posed by physical distance. Gleb Tsipursky, Fortune, 3 Jan. 2024 Managers must prioritize open lines of communication, making sure that their team feels connected, despite physical distances. Nathan Green, Rolling Stone, 4 Jan. 2024 Israel is a small country, the physical distances manageable. Matthew Hennessey, WSJ, 26 Nov. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'physical distance.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

2003, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of physical distance was in 2003

Dictionary Entries Near physical distance

Cite this Entry

“Physical distance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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