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See more synonyms for distinct 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.
  3. clear to the senses or intellect; plain; unmistakable: The ship appeared as a distinct silhouette.
  4. distinguishing or perceiving clearly: distinct vision.
  5. unquestionably exceptional or notable: a distinct honor.
  6. Archaic. distinctively decorated or adorned.
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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


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Synonym study

1. See various.


3, 4. indistinct.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for distinctness

Historical Examples

  • Infinity not rightly implied by vastness.frequency than their distinctness.

    Modern Painters Volume II (of V)

    John Ruskin

  • In the latter case, also, the distinctness of the articulation was improved.

  • He is unable to speak or to articulate any sound with distinctness.

  • They were to have a regular little lark—that she remembered, too, with distinctness.

    The Very Small Person

    Annie Hamilton Donnell

  • Should you mind pointing them out to me with some distinctness?

British Dictionary definitions for distinctness


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

Word Origin

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 distinctness



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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper