- 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).
- aesthetic distance.
- 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.
- to cause to appear distant.
- 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.
Origin of distance
SynonymsSee more synonyms for distance on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for distancing
“You can borrow that stuff if you want to,” McKenna says, putting a heavy, distancing accent on the word stuff.The Stacks: The Judas Priest Teen Suicide Trial
June 28, 2014
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
During that time, his success mounted but he seemed to be distancing himself from cultural relevance.Why U Still Love Usher, Baby
May 14, 2014
But, astonishingly, rather than distancing themselves from the crisis, Hamas leaders have intensified their engagement in it.Hamas in the Crosshairs
July 26, 2013
Lizzie Crocker on why so many powerful women are distancing themselves from ‘feminist.’Susan Sarandon Says She’s Not a Feminist: Why She Dumped the Label
July 8, 2013
All three started and ran as fast as they were able; and for a while were in hopes of distancing their pursuer.Bruin
Handcuffed as he stood, to attempt to run with any hope of distancing his pursuer would have been simple folly at best.Bats in the Wall
P. T. Raymond
He had known his impetuous brother to do many unwise things in the past; but it seemed that he was now distancing his own record.The Pioneer Boys on the Great Lakes
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
To his intense gratification he had succeeded in distancing his fellow across the way by half a block.Mortmain
Arthur Cheny Train
- 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 timehe 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
- horse racing
- Britisha point on a racecourse 240 yards from the winning post
- Britishany interval of more than 20 lengths between any two finishers in a race
- USthe 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
- boxingto 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
- middle distance
- (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 milea distance runner
- to hold or place at a distance
- to separate (oneself) mentally or emotionally from something
- to outdo; outstrip
Word Origin and History for distancing
late 13c., "quarrel, estrangement, discord, strife," from Old French destance (13c.), from Latin distantia "a standing apart," from distantem (nominative distans) "standing apart, separate, distant," present participle of distare "stand apart," from dis- "apart, off" (see dis-) + stare "to stand" (see stet).
Meaning "remoteness, space between things or places" is late 14c. The figurative sense of "aloofness" is the same as in stand-offish. Phrase go the distance (1930s) seems to be originally from the prize ring, where the word meant "scheduled length of a bout."
1570s (transitive); 1640s (intransitive), from distance (n.). Related: Distanced; distancing.
- The extent of space between two objects or places; an intervening space.
Idioms and Phrases with distancing
see go the distance; keep one's distance; spitting distance.