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distinctive

[dih-stingk-tiv]
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adjective
  1. serving to distinguish; characteristic; distinguishing: the distinctive stripes of the zebra.
  2. having a special quality, style, attractiveness, etc.; notable.

Origin of distinctive

1575–85; < Medieval Latin distinctīvus, equivalent to Latin distinct(us) distinct + -īvus -ive
Related formsdis·tinc·tive·ly, adverbdis·tinc·tive·ness, nounsub·dis·tinc·tive, adjectivesub·dis·tinc·tive·ly, adverbsub·dis·tinc·tive·ness, noun
Can be confuseddistinctive distinguishable distinguished

Synonyms

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1. individual.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for distinctively

distinctive

adjective
  1. serving or tending to distinguish
  2. denoting one of a set of minimal features of a phoneme in a given language that serve to distinguish it from other phonemes. The distinctive features of /p/ in English are that it is voiceless, bilabial, non-nasal, and plosive; /b/ is voiced, bilabial, non-nasal, and plosive: the two differ by the distinctive feature of voice
Derived Formsdistinctively, adverbdistinctiveness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for distinctively

distinctive

adj.

early 15c., from Old French distinctif and directly from Medieval Latin distinctivus, from Latin distinct-, past participle of distinguere (see distinguish). Meaning "markedly individual" is from 1580s. Related: Distinctively; distinctiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper