[ dih-stingkt ]
See synonyms for: distinctdistinctness on Thesaurus.com

  1. distinguished as not being the same; not identical; separate (sometimes followed by from): His private and public lives are distinct.

  2. different in nature or quality; dissimilar (sometimes followed by from): Gold is distinct from iron.

  1. clear to the senses or intellect; plain; unmistakable: The ship appeared as a distinct silhouette.

  2. distinguishing or perceiving clearly: distinct vision.

  3. unquestionably exceptional or notable: a distinct honor.

  4. Archaic. distinctively decorated or adorned.

Origin of distinct

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English, from Latin distinctus, “divided off,” past participle of disting(u)ere “to divide off, pick out, distinguish,” from di- di-2 + sting(u)ere (unrecorded), presumably, “to prick, mark by pricking”; cf. instinct1, instigate

Other words for distinct

Opposites for distinct

Other words from distinct

  • dis·tinct·ness, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use distinct in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for distinct


/ (dɪˈstɪŋkt) /

  1. easily sensed or understood; clear; precise

  2. (when postpositive, foll by from) not the same (as); separate (from); distinguished (from)

  1. not alike; different

  2. sharp; clear

  3. recognizable; definite: a distinct improvement

  4. explicit; unequivocal

  5. maths logic (of a pair of entities) not identical

  6. botany (of parts of a plant) not joined together; separate

Origin of distinct

C14: from Latin distinctus, from distinguere to distinguish

Derived forms of distinct

  • distinctly, adverb
  • distinctness, 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