[lawng-dis-tuh ns, long-]


of, from, or between distant places: a long-distance phone call.
for, over, or covering long distances: a long-distance runner.


by long-distance telephone: to call someone long-distance.

Origin of long-distance

First recorded in 1880–85

long distance


telephone service between distant places.

Origin of long distance

First recorded in 1900–05
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for long-distance

Contemporary Examples of long-distance

Historical Examples of long-distance

  • Mrs. Gosnold sent for me by long-distance telephone this morning.


    Louis Joseph Vance

  • Was this a long-distance run, or just a hundred-yard sprint?

    Shorty McCabe

    Sewell Ford

  • Not that I'm claimin' any long-distance record as a model parent.

    Torchy As A Pa

    Sewell Ford

  • He had aroused her passion and no amount of long-distance love could requite it.

    The Perfectionists

    Arnold Castle

  • It took a minute for the long-distance circuits to connect him with Manhattan.

    Out Like a Light

    Gordon Randall Garrett

British Dictionary definitions for long-distance



(modifier) covering relatively long distancesa long-distance driver
(modifier) (of telephone calls, lines, etc) connecting points a relatively long way apart
mainly US and Canadian a long-distance telephone call
a long-distance telephone system or its operator


by a long-distance telephone linehe phoned long-distance
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 long-distance

1884, in reference to telephoning, from long (adj.) + distance (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper