Definition of distinct in English:



  • 1Recognizably different in nature from something else of a similar type.

    ‘the patterns of spoken language are distinct from those of writing’
    ‘there are two distinct types of sickle cell disease’
    • ‘This should be recognized as distinct from suppressing emotion.’
    • ‘As sea levels rose and the northern Channel Islands separated, each fox population became genetically distinct.’
    • ‘But that is not what makes his work distinct from that of his peers.’
    • ‘Instead, species that differ in timing of gamete release tend to constitute genetically distinct clades.’
    • ‘He does not interpret these genres as distinct entities, however.’
    • ‘Thus the nature of plants is quite distinct from the nature of rocks and sand.’
    • ‘There are different types of arthritis that occur in children that are distinct from adult types.’
    • ‘Losing weight and learning Spanish are separate aims with distinct requirements.’
    • ‘It's not like you to belittle legitimate concerns from a distinct ethnocultural space.’
    • ‘There are three quite distinct types of lavender.’
    • ‘Is this not part of what makes them culturally distinct?’
    • ‘Grape berries exhibit a double sigmoid pattern of development, with two distinct phases of growth separated by a lag phase.’
    • ‘Whilst distinct in terms of research focus, the two projects were theoretically and methodologically similar.’
    • ‘What marks them out as distinct also separates them from their neighbours.’
    • ‘If so, it is a completely separate and distinct issue that has nothing to do with this one.’
    • ‘But as he splits, she is separating into two quite distinct parts, slipping out of his control.’
    • ‘There are three functionally distinct types of such subsystems: transducers, input and output systems, and central systems.’
    • ‘Each taxon used is morphologically distinct, although the rank of these taxa is in flux.’
    • ‘For instance, could language of presentation help bilinguals keep remembered events cognitively distinct?’
    • ‘There are two separate and distinct conditions for the exercise of the discretion created by that provision.’
    clear, clear-cut, definite, well defined, sharp, marked, decided, unmistakable, easily distinguishable
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    1. 1.1 Physically separate.
      ‘the gallery is divided into five distinct spaces’
      • ‘What stands distinct from the rest is the turban.’
      • ‘With a grid in place, you roughly break down the garden into distinct spaces.’
      • ‘Even in cosmopolitan Warsaw, Jews and Poles inhabited not only separate districts, but distinct worlds.’
      • ‘It was also foolish to decide to show the games on three separate and distinct channels.’
      • ‘Both groups of companies operate separately and have totally separate and distinct auditors.’
      • ‘Hestor can make out Jody and Morgan, who remain distinct in the throng.’
      • ‘The result of this is a vast landscape of communities which exist quite separately in distinct ethnic and economic worlds.’
      • ‘These are two separate, proudly distinct States, and yet both part of what we are happy to call the Union of India.’
      • ‘We use the logical framework provided by this dendrogram to group the SC and MC in functionally distinct clusters.’
      • ‘What they worry about most is that with two coaching teams, two separate and distinct teams will emerge on tour.’
      • ‘This remained physically and functionally distinct and probably remained a separate planning unit.’
      • ‘The mantle and the core are thought to have entirely separate and distinct convective regimes.’
      • ‘In philosophy, individuals are defined as entities that are distinct in space and time.’
      • ‘A large center console separates the interior into distinct right and left sections.’
      • ‘Notice the full mass on each of these muscles and how each is rock solid with distinct separation.’
      • ‘All of this caused a distinct line of separation between sky and sea to appear.’
      • ‘Two tables are distinct individuals because they occupy distinct portions of space, or of time, or of both.’
      • ‘The removal is capable of being a distinct operation separate from the winning and working of minerals.’
      • ‘A similar but much less distinct unit separates the middle and upper coccolith limestones.’
      • ‘Along the cathedral's long dark side aisles, one encountered six distinct spaces.’
      discrete, separate, individual, different, unconnected, unassociated, detached
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  • 2Readily distinguishable by the senses.

    ‘a distinct smell of nicotine’
    • ‘You forget that blood has this special, distinct metallic smell to it.’
    • ‘And then he caught the distinct smell of a rabbit, and made for the gate, oblivious to the fact that the trail was old.’
    • ‘Their smells floated into his nostrils, each one distinct, unique, intoxicating.’
    • ‘We're both nonsmokers, and there was a very distinct smell of cigars about Henri Paul.’
    • ‘The boy smiled toothily, smelling the distinct aroma that is victory and raised his hand again to strike.’
    • ‘She pulled her blanket to her chin, wrinkling her nose at its distinct mildew smell, then yanking it down to her feet.’
    • ‘Despite snow on the ground, leafless trees and the distinct absence of birdsong one can sense a seasonal change.’
    • ‘She could never get used to the distinct smell of the hospital and wondered if the nurses felt the same way.’
    • ‘Burkhard prints his own work and the end result is somewhat grainy with a distinct sense of texture.’
    • ‘Traces, not scents, but more like colors he could smell in his head, each distinct and unique.’
    • ‘The distinct smell of alcohol mixed with perfume made Sol's nostrils flare angrily.’
    • ‘The burned parts of the etumbu also have a sharp and distinct smell which attracts fish to the trap.’
    • ‘I could smell him, the distinct scent of him that was a mix of cologne and hair wax and his soap.’
    • ‘He became first a wavering outline which then solidified, then became more distinct.’
    • ‘He walked up to the front door and suddenly began to notice a distinct, ranking smell.’
    • ‘His nostrils were filled abruptly with the distinct smell of smoke and burning food.’
    • ‘I could smell her distinct perfume, my lungs feeling renewed with a part of heaven.’
    • ‘My immediate concern was to get everyone out of the van because there was a distinct smell of smoke.’
    • ‘We arrive at the sailing club, and there's a distinct smell around.’
    • ‘I have none of these means to produce scent, but it doesn't mean we are without distinct smell.’
    1. 2.1attributive (used for emphasis) so clearly apparent to the mind as to be unmistakable; definite.
      ‘he got the distinct impression that Melissa wasn't best pleased’
      • ‘The tense atmosphere outside is in distinct contrast with the excitement of the audience inside.’
      • ‘Others give the distinct impression that they no longer fancy being associated with failure.’
      • ‘A very distinct advantage to having a press pass is getting in before the general public.’
      • ‘Using the traditional means of extending religious influence leaves us at a distinct disadvantage.’
      • ‘I have heard nor seen no sign of such feeling, though I can sense distinct undercurrents of change in the public demeanor.’
      • ‘I had the distinct sense that she was an authority we were trying to impress.’
      • ‘The process has very distinct advantages over chill casting when quantities are sufficient to warrant this production.’
      • ‘Influenced by scare stories about an imminent invasion, over-reaction is a distinct possibility.’
      • ‘It was a film where no room was left for the viewer to interpret their own meanings, in distinct contrast to the novel.’
      • ‘However, those who oppose such separate schooling demonstrate a distinct lack of understanding of this issue.’
      • ‘His clothes were wrinkled and I had the distinct impression he slept in them.’
      • ‘The problem with using intent with respect to terrorism is the very distinct possibility of never determining anyone's intent.’
      • ‘I get a distinct impression that the money is important here.’
      • ‘In the past couple of years, there has been the distinct sense that the genre of Americana is reaching critical mass.’
      • ‘One distinct advantage that Streisand had was William Wyler as her director on the film.’
      • ‘I was also pleased by the distinct lack of annoyingly goofy, stupid characters.’
      • ‘It has now become a distinct possibility that all spaces in the assigned lots would be taken.’
      • ‘As you are discovering, that's a distinct disadvantage on the mate market.’
      • ‘But the car shows its age with a distinct lack of storage space and frustratingly fiddly stereo controls.’
      • ‘Attitudes like that show a distinct lack of maturity when it comes to nationhood.’


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘differentiated’): from Latin distinctus ‘separated, distinguished’, from the verb distinguere (see distinguish).