Definition of distant in English:



  • 1Far away in space or time.

    ‘distant parts of the world’
    ‘I remember that distant afternoon’
    • ‘I get my entertainment the modern way, borne on invisible rays beamed out from distant towers, which are relaying signals from outer space.’
    • ‘The cutting edge graphics engine will present you a world of 5 huge cities on earth and several distant colonies in outer space.’
    • ‘These responses are tempting because they yield immediate gains, while their costs are distant in time and space, uncertain, and hard to detect.’
    • ‘‘I hope I die before I get old’ sang the Who when old age seemed to be something vague on a distant shore.’
    • ‘This allowed ships immediate access to distant points in space.’
    • ‘A man in the distant field caught her attention.’
    • ‘Like many twins, Minneapolis and St. Paul are closely related but geographically distant.’
    • ‘You need to have thought of almost every eventuality when landing on a distant moon in a remote corner of the Solar System.’
    • ‘A number of colonies had been established in the distant Besalius sector of space.’
    • ‘And many of the photo studios used the backs of the photos as advertising space for a mysteriously distant Philadelphia.’
    • ‘He went silent, eyes fixed on some distant point in space, somewhere around the vicinity of my head.’
    • ‘Those days have faded into a vague and distant past.’
    • ‘E-mail may often be the only method available to contact sources in remote locations or in distant time zones.’
    • ‘He glanced toward the distant shore and nodded.’
    • ‘The wormhole in effect connects two distant points in space so as to form a shortcut.’
    • ‘To get a better view of the more distant planets requires space probes.’
    • ‘Otherwise Lagerfeld was a distant star in a remote star system.’
    • ‘I spotted Adrian later in the afternoon staring at the distant tree line with a look of pondering in his eyes.’
    • ‘The Hubble Space Telescope has been used to track distant star-forming galaxies in a project part-funded from Swindon.’
    • ‘Images of those back home remit to the audience the common connectivity among populations distant in space and culture.’
    away, off, apart, separated
    faraway, far off, far
    long ago, bygone
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    1. 1.1[predicative](after a measurement) at a specified distance.
      ‘the star is 30,000 light years distant from Earth’
      ‘the town lay half a mile distant’
      • ‘The NCWO have been appealing against a court ruling that the protests must take place at least 1.4 miles distant from the course.’
      • ‘It may be worth noting that I'm watching the game on my computer roughly half a mile distant from the stadium.’
      • ‘Yet it is light years distant from Indonesia's troubles in the eyes of multinational companies and foreign portfolio managers.’
      • ‘It is 10 billion miles from the sun, over three times more distant from the sun than its next closest planet, Pluto.’
      • ‘Croglin Low Hall is probably the house indicated, but it is at least a mile distant from the church, which has been rebuilt.’
      • ‘These are the people who will have to find a new role 400 miles distant from where the real nationalist action is.’
      • ‘We are now three years distant from the biggest foreign policy blunder since the Second World War.’
      • ‘Kovalam is several miles distant from the Temple.’
      • ‘These measures are too polite, too distant from the roiling consumer psyche to be of much use anymore.’
      • ‘They lay not ten yards distant from the piles of beams and drywall being used to build some streamside condominiums.’
    2. 1.2(of a sound) faint because far away.
      ‘the distant bark of some farm dog’
      • ‘As if mirroring my thoughts I heard the sound of not too distant thunder rumbling above that sent a shiver through me.’
      • ‘Just then, the cave sounded with the distant echo of quick, flapping wings.’
      • ‘For a while, the only sounds heard were the distant roar of the highway outside and the tapping rain on the window.’
      • ‘As I touched the handle, I heard the distant sound of running footsteps.’
      • ‘The sound of distant laughter growing closer killed their argument, if it even was one in the first place.’
      • ‘There was a sound of distant thunder in the sinister skies above, and she slowly glanced up.’
      • ‘The dragon roared again, a sound like distant thunder, and opened its mouth as if to swallow her.’
      • ‘Alyssa listened too and heard the distant sound of footsteps coming down the hall.’
      • ‘Dark clouds gathered above her head and she swore she heard the distant sound of thunder.’
      • ‘Something chirped, a bird, but the sound was distant, faded.’
      • ‘I listened carefully, hearing many city sounds, the distant laughter of humans, but no vampires were following me.’
      • ‘A distant echo sounded in my head - the echo of the person I was fifteen, twenty years ago.’
      • ‘The light is fading, and the distant sounds of the city are carried on a light breeze that creates ripples on the water.’
      • ‘The rumbling noise sounded off again, the distant sounds of the war being waged just outside reaching their ears at a delayed rate.’
      • ‘Suddenly all heads turned as the sound of a distant roar echoed over the plains.’
      • ‘Ben was busy feeding his chickens when the sound of a distant echo caught his ears.’
      • ‘His voice sounded like the distant boom of thunder.’
      • ‘The sounds of distant footsteps above me brought me out of my guard.’
      • ‘So we arrived at the park to find many bicycles propped up against trees, and distant sounds of music and laughter.’
      • ‘Through the open window, the sounds of distant laughter drifted from the resort.’
    3. 1.3Remote or far apart in resemblance or relationship.
      ‘a distant acquaintance’
      • ‘The wing, landing gear, powerplant, empennage and panel have only a distant resemblance to the homebuilt's equivalents.’
      • ‘To make matters more difficult, today neighbourhood relationships become more distant.’
      • ‘Metaphor provides startling redescriptions of the world by revealing an unexpected resemblance between once distant and divergent terms.’
      • ‘More distant acquaintances come up and say, ‘Where've you been?’’
      • ‘Birds with permanent roosts became the couple's rather more distant but equally delightful acquaintances.’
      • ‘He said the errors may have been a function of the ‘loose and in some ways distant relationship he's been allowed to have with Today’.’
      • ‘He has emerged from a period of unease about your and Julia's brief and palaeolithically distant college relationship to become a trusted friend.’
      • ‘The fact their relationships were more distant does mean, of course, that there is still hope.’
      • ‘It's like the classic situation where John introduces his girlfriend Mary to his distant acquaintance Sam, and Mary ends up leaving John for Sam.’
      • ‘Rail links that put San Francisco and LA only a couple of hours apart remain a distant dream, too.’
      • ‘Quite often, people have a rather strained and distant relationship to their own body.’
      • ‘But a distant acquaintance of mine, who has an African mother and a French father, came out with a shattering truth.’
      • ‘That relationship was quite distant, and so he absorbed himself in a tiny scientific world in order to make sense of that relationship.’
      • ‘However, they bear only a distant, very abstract resemblance to real economic activity.’
      • ‘When she saw only trees and the distant resemblance of the garden that was behind the house, she couldn't understand what he saw.’
      • ‘I keep thinking he's appointed every last close friend, family friend, political friend, or even distant loyal acquaintance of his to a job.’
      • ‘We might have a distant relationship, but I don't wish her badly.’
      • ‘I'm now involved, with a number of linguists, in a project I helped to organize to explore very distant relationships among human languages.’
      remote, indirect, slight
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    4. 1.4[attributive](of a person) not closely related.
      ‘a distant cousin of the King’
      • ‘In fact the commando - described as a ‘splendid man’ by Lord Harewood - was merely a distant cousin.’
      • ‘By the age of five he was speaking French, having been instructed by a distant cousin in the back seat of grandmother's LaSalle.’
      • ‘Do they dare range this far north, leaving south Florida's brackish mangrove swamps, to court some distant cousin?’
      • ‘They tell him not to get it removed, a surgical procedure that would take five minutes according to Krishnanunni's distant cousin in town.’
      • ‘Even if you counted distant third cousins, our ancestors might have been exposed to a grand total of 500 people in their lifetime.’
      • ‘My voice was muffled and with the hair that undoubtedly surrounded my whole hunched over form, I most likely resembled a distant relative of cousin It.’
      • ‘However, it still shares many (if not most) of the same characteristics of our distant ancestors.’
      • ‘‘I met a distant cousin at one of these fairs,’ said a lady.’
      • ‘He has very dark hair and lovely eyes and if you roughed him up a bit he could pass for a distant cousin of George Clooney's on a dark night.’
      • ‘My mother and aunt visited this weekend, and we spent most of Thursday and Friday with them and a distant cousin who lives here in KC.’
      • ‘She looks more human now, but still behaves like her distant cousins.’
      • ‘Her father had arranged her marriage to a distant cousin.’
      • ‘Rather, the naming system complements the kinship system in that it provides people with an easy tool to establish their relationship even with distant kin.’
      • ‘Anjali Sircar, tired of room hunting, asked her distant cousin, Yash, to pretend to be her fiancé and wangled a single room at Khar.’
      • ‘And if you tossed his distant cousin out of his house, wouldn't he mind that?’
      • ‘The cousins were distant (what we call in Scotland ‘out-cousins’) and monied and rather flash.’
      • ‘However, if laws prohibiting adult incest were extended to, say, distant cousins, what possible justification could be given?’
      • ‘They did say they were venture capitalists from New Hampshire and sons of some distant cousin or aunt, I think.’
      • ‘If someone asks me how I'm related to the bride or groom, I say I'm a distant cousin.’
      • ‘Reflecting back on a day of preparation for two hours of company, I wonder about our dim, distant ancestors.’
  • 2(of a person) not intimate; cool or reserved.

    ‘his children found him strangely distant’
    ‘she and my father were distant with each other’
    • ‘They are not the ordinances of a stern and distant judge but the loving gift of the bridegroom to his beloved.’
    • ‘Caught up in his naval background, he was distant and impersonal.’
    • ‘But the dog demon was growing colder and more distant with each passing day.’
    • ‘Arliss's direction does often appear perfunctory, and his actors remembered him as a rather cold, distant figure.’
    • ‘Jack was distant, unfriendly at best, and then he even abruptly pulled out a textbook and started to read it, blocking us out completely.’
    • ‘This night they were distant and cold, displaced from the rest of the world, impartial observers of what happened here.’
    • ‘Even normally cool and distant Daniel was trying his best to control his emotions, he was so afraid he would break down.’
    • ‘But something seemed to have changed between them, and now they were distant with each other.’
    • ‘An elderly couple holiday with their two sons, but something is clearly amiss; the mother is distant and surly, ignoring everything around her.’
    • ‘I was just saying, if he was so close and warm at the beginning, and now he's distant and cold, there could be a reason.’
    • ‘He was distant with his daughter and didn't even bother to attend her wedding.’
    • ‘Even conditions like schizophrenia and autism were blamed on environmental factors like cold and distant mothers.’
    • ‘He grew up poor, with a violent, domineering mother and a cold, distant father.’
    • ‘They were cold and distant with each other having had very little contact in the past two weeks.’
    • ‘Her memories were of a kind and generous man who contrasted sharply with her cold and distant mother.’
    • ‘The memoirs describing late nineteenth-century childhood are replete with images of cold, distant parents.’
    • ‘My mom was distant and cold, and very uninvolved in my life.’
    • ‘He was cold and distant with everyone outside his tribe, and quiet when dealing even with his own.’
    • ‘He was so distant and reserved now, but I had no idea how he had been before.’
    • ‘Kathy is too angry and resentful to care and Josh has gradually come to grow indifferent toward his drunken distant father.’
    aloof, reserved, remote, detached, unapproachable, stand-offish, keeping people at arm's length
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    1. 2.1Not paying attention; remote.
      ‘a distant look in his eyes’
      • ‘There was certainly nothing remote or distant about her own sense of dignity.’
      • ‘He thought a moment and then nodded, but a distant look had overtaken his eyes.’
      • ‘The door opened, and the Lord nodded to me, his eyes distant and serene.’
      • ‘The young knight nodded, but his eyes were distant, his face drawn.’
      • ‘Kaitya nodded, her eyes were beginning to regain their glazed distant feel.’
      • ‘He was still the same, attentive and distant at the same time, while Alex tried to act as if they were just friends.’
      • ‘Aria nodded and looked away, as if in distant thought.’
      • ‘‘It's so distant and remote, they thought nobody would ever find it,’ says county sheriff Ronnie Oakes.’
      • ‘Now his attention was on the distant mental strings of summoning power he wielded.’
      • ‘I snap to attention, finding myself irritated by the distant glint in her shapely eyes.’
      • ‘It seemed that her features changed, became remote, distant.’
      • ‘The result is a series of distant, icy meditations on life and living; impossibly remote and unhealthily introspective.’
      • ‘Aislinn nodded gravely, her eyes momentarily taking on a distant light.’
      • ‘She showed how to be regal without being remote, dignified without being distant and she had the loveliest smile in the world.’
      • ‘On those nights, they sat on the patio together, Leon attentive, Sylvie responsive, yet distant somehow.’
      • ‘Sometimes the distant and remote are better at igniting our compassion than the close and familiar.’
      • ‘Their agenda and top down style of leadership is remote, distant, and often wildly out of step with the needs of poor and working class blacks.’
      distracted, absent-minded, absent, faraway, detached, distrait, vague
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Late Middle English: from Latin distant- standing apart, from the verb distare, from dis- apart + stare stand.