physical distance


Definition of 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, OK) 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

First Known Use of physical distance

2003, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of physical distance was in 2003

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Last Updated

27 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Physical distance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2020.

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