the extent or amount of space between two things, points, lines, etc.
the state or fact of being apart in space, as of one thing from another; remoteness.
a linear extent of space: Seven miles is a distance too great to walk in an hour.
an expanse; area: A vast distance of water surrounded the ship.
the interval between two points of time; an extent of time: His vacation period was a good distance away.
remoteness or difference in any respect: Our philosophies are a long distance apart.
an amount of progress: We've come a long distance on the project.
a distant point, place, or region.
the distant part of a field of view: a tree in the distance.
absence of warmth; reserve: Their first meeting in several years was hampered by a certain distance between them.
Music. interval (def. 6).
Horse Racing. (in a heat race) the space measured back from the winning post that a horse must reach by the time the winner passes the winning post or be eliminated from subsequent heats.
Mathematics. the greatest lower bound of differences between points, one from each of two given sets.
Obsolete. disagreement or dissension; a quarrel.
to leave behind at a distance, as at a race; surpass.
to place at a distance.
Idioms about distance
go the distance,
(in horse racing) to be able to run well in a long race.
Informal. to finish or complete something, especially something difficult, challenging, or requiring sustained effort.
keep at a distance, to treat coldly or in an unfriendly manner.
keep one's distance, to avoid becoming familiar or involved; remain cool or aloof.
- dis·tance·less, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use distance in a sentence
“You can borrow that stuff if you want to,” McKenna says, putting a heavy, distancing accent on the word stuff.
Now, Dickie says, the church is distancing itself from the perceived alliance.Pope Francis May Be Risking His Life by Taking on the Mafia | Barbie Latza Nadeau | June 23, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
During that time, his success mounted but he seemed to be distancing himself from cultural relevance.
I think a psychological distancing from England has played a role, too.
But, astonishingly, rather than distancing themselves from the crisis, Hamas leaders have intensified their engagement in it.
Aware that the Sioux were distancing them, the Pawnee hunters were shouting encouragement to their tribesmen.Three Sioux Scouts | Elmer Russell Gregor
It sank in Rhoda like the preaching of an end that was promise of a beginning, and girdled a distancing land of trouble.Rhoda Fleming, Complete | George Meredith
This very rarely happens, as he is a crack shot, easily distancing the other competitors.A Day with Lord Byron | May Clarissa Gillington
The heartless master plunged the spurs into his horse's sides, for the dogs were out-distancing him.The Cave by the Beech Fork | Henry S. Spalding
The moon has far more majesty when but distancing the tree-tops than when rolling apparently at random through an empty sky.The Garden, You, and I | Mabel Osgood Wright
British Dictionary definitions for distance
the intervening space between two points or things
the length of this gap
the state of being apart in space; remoteness
an interval between two points in time
the extent of progress; advance
a distant place or time: he lives at a distance from his work
a separation or remoteness in relationship; disparity
the length of the shortest line segment joining two points
the length along a straight line or curve
the distance the most distant or a faraway part of the visible scene or landscape
British a point on a racecourse 240 yards from the winning post
British any interval of more than 20 lengths between any two finishers in a race
US the part of a racecourse that a horse must reach in any heat before the winner passes the finishing line in order to qualify for later heats
go the distance
boxing to complete a bout without being knocked out
to be able to complete an assigned task or responsibility
keep one's distance to maintain a proper or discreet reserve in respect of another person
the distant parts of a picture, such as a landscape
(in a picture) halfway between the foreground and the horizon
(in a natural situation) halfway between the observer and the horizon
(modifier) athletics relating to or denoting the longer races, usually those longer than a mile: a distance runner
to hold or place at a distance
to separate (oneself) mentally or emotionally from something
to outdo; outstrip
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with distance
see go the distance; keep one's distance; spitting distance.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.