[ dih-stingkt ]
/ dɪˈstɪŋkt /


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.

Nearby words

  1. distilled water,
  2. distiller,
  3. distillers' grain,
  4. distillery,
  5. distillment,
  6. distinction,
  7. distinctive,
  8. distinctive feature,
  9. distinctively,
  10. distinctiveness ratio

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

Synonym study

1. See various.

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

Examples from the Web for distinct

British Dictionary definitions for distinct


/ (dɪˈstɪŋkt) /


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