distinguished as not being the same; not identical; separate (sometimes followed by from): His private and public lives are distinct.
different in nature or quality; dissimilar (sometimes followed by from): Gold is distinct from iron.
clear to the senses or intellect; plain; unmistakable: The ship appeared as a distinct silhouette.
distinguishing or perceiving clearly: distinct vision.
unquestionably exceptional or notable: a distinct honor.
Archaic. distinctively decorated or adorned.

Origin of distinct

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin distinctus, past participle of disting(u)ere to divide off, pick out, distinguish (di- di-2 + *sting(u)ere presumably, to prick, mark by pricking; cf. instinct1, instigate)
Related formsdis·tinct·ness, noun

Synonyms for distinct

Synonym study

1. See various.

Antonyms for distinct

3, 4. indistinct.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for distinct

Contemporary Examples of distinct

Historical Examples of distinct

  • She heard him speaking in a voice not louder than a whisper, rapid, distinct.

  • I hear voices in all directions, and never have they been so distinct as at this moment.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

  • And this latter recollection seemed as distinct to him as the first had been.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • A distinct picture came to him of his classroom and old Doctor Stokes.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • He had such a distinct perception of ruin and death that he shuddered again.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

British Dictionary definitions for distinct



easily sensed or understood; clear; precise
(when postpositive, foll by from) not the same (as); separate (from); distinguished (from)
not alike; different
sharp; clear
recognizable; definitea distinct improvement
explicit; unequivocal
maths logic (of a pair of entities) not identical
botany (of parts of a plant) not joined together; separate
Derived Formsdistinctly, adverbdistinctness, noun

Word Origin for distinct

C14: from Latin distinctus, from distinguere to distinguish
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 distinct

late 14c., originally past participle of distincten (c.1300) "to distinguish," from Old French distincter, from Latin distinctus, past participle of distinguere (see distinguish). Related: Distinctness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper