Definition of distant in English:



  • 1Far away in space or time:

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

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