Definition of distant in English:



  • 1Far away in space or time.

    ‘distant parts of the world’
    ‘I remember that distant afternoon’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I get my entertainment the modern way, borne on invisible rays beamed out from distant towers, which are relaying signals from outer space.’
    • ‘To get a better view of the more distant planets requires space probes.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The cutting edge graphics engine will present you a world of 5 huge cities on earth and several distant colonies in outer space.’
    • ‘‘I hope I die before I get old’ sang the Who when old age seemed to be something vague on a distant shore.’
    • ‘E-mail may often be the only method available to contact sources in remote locations or in distant time zones.’
    • ‘And many of the photo studios used the backs of the photos as advertising space for a mysteriously distant Philadelphia.’
    • ‘Images of those back home remit to the audience the common connectivity among populations distant in space and culture.’
    • ‘You need to have thought of almost every eventuality when landing on a distant moon in a remote corner of the Solar System.’
    • ‘He went silent, eyes fixed on some distant point in space, somewhere around the vicinity of my head.’
    • ‘The wormhole in effect connects two distant points in space so as to form a shortcut.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This allowed ships immediate access to distant points in space.’
    • ‘I spotted Adrian later in the afternoon staring at the distant tree line with a look of pondering in his eyes.’
    • ‘A man in the distant field caught her attention.’
    • ‘Like many twins, Minneapolis and St. Paul are closely related but geographically distant.’
    long ago, bygone
    faraway, far off, far
    away, off, apart, separated
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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’
      • ‘Croglin Low Hall is probably the house indicated, but it is at least a mile distant from the church, which has been rebuilt.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Yet it is light years distant from Indonesia's troubles in the eyes of multinational companies and foreign portfolio managers.’
      • ‘It may be worth noting that I'm watching the game on my computer roughly half a mile distant from the stadium.’
      • ‘It is 10 billion miles from the sun, over three times more distant from the sun than its next closest planet, Pluto.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘These are the people who will have to find a new role 400 miles distant from where the real nationalist action is.’
    2. 1.2(of a sound) faint or vague because far away.
      ‘the distant bark of some farm dog’
      • ‘His voice sounded like the distant boom of thunder.’
      • ‘The dragon roared again, a sound like distant thunder, and opened its mouth as if to swallow her.’
      • ‘For a while, the only sounds heard were the distant roar of the highway outside and the tapping rain on the window.’
      • ‘Dark clouds gathered above her head and she swore she heard the distant sound of thunder.’
      • ‘Alyssa listened too and heard the distant sound of footsteps coming down the hall.’
      • ‘As if mirroring my thoughts I heard the sound of not too distant thunder rumbling above that sent a shiver through me.’
      • ‘The sound of distant laughter growing closer killed their argument, if it even was one in the first place.’
      • ‘The sounds of distant footsteps above me brought me out of my guard.’
      • ‘There was a sound of distant thunder in the sinister skies above, and she slowly glanced up.’
      • ‘Suddenly all heads turned as the sound of a distant roar echoed over the plains.’
      • ‘Just then, the cave sounded with the distant echo of quick, flapping wings.’
      • ‘Through the open window, the sounds of distant laughter drifted from the resort.’
      • ‘The rumbling noise sounded off again, the distant sounds of the war being waged just outside reaching their ears at a delayed rate.’
      • ‘As I touched the handle, I heard the distant sound of running footsteps.’
      • ‘The light is fading, and the distant sounds of the city are carried on a light breeze that creates ripples on the water.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Ben was busy feeding his chickens when the sound of a distant echo caught his ears.’
      • ‘A distant echo sounded in my head - the echo of the person I was fifteen, twenty years ago.’
      • ‘So we arrived at the park to find many bicycles propped up against trees, and distant sounds of music and laughter.’
    3. 1.3Remote or far apart in resemblance or relationship.
      ‘a distant acquaintance’
      • ‘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’.’
      • ‘When she saw only trees and the distant resemblance of the garden that was behind the house, she couldn't understand what he saw.’
      • ‘The fact their relationships were more distant does mean, of course, that there is still hope.’
      • ‘Birds with permanent roosts became the couple's rather more distant but equally delightful acquaintances.’
      • ‘However, they bear only a distant, very abstract resemblance to real economic activity.’
      • ‘That relationship was quite distant, and so he absorbed himself in a tiny scientific world in order to make sense of that relationship.’
      • ‘He has emerged from a period of unease about your and Julia's brief and palaeolithically distant college relationship to become a trusted friend.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘More distant acquaintances come up and say, ‘Where've you been?’’
      • ‘Metaphor provides startling redescriptions of the world by revealing an unexpected resemblance between once distant and divergent terms.’
      • ‘We might have a distant relationship, but I don't wish her badly.’
      • ‘I keep thinking he's appointed every last close friend, family friend, political friend, or even distant loyal acquaintance of his to a job.’
      • ‘I'm now involved, with a number of linguists, in a project I helped to organize to explore very distant relationships among human languages.’
      • ‘The wing, landing gear, powerplant, empennage and panel have only a distant resemblance to the homebuilt's equivalents.’
      • ‘Quite often, people have a rather strained and distant relationship to their own body.’
      • ‘To make matters more difficult, today neighbourhood relationships become more distant.’
      • ‘But a distant acquaintance of mine, who has an African mother and a French father, came out with a shattering truth.’
      remote, indirect, slight
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    4. 1.4[attributive](of a person) not closely related.
      ‘a distant cousin’
      • ‘Her father had arranged her marriage to a distant cousin.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘‘I met a distant cousin at one of these fairs,’ said a lady.’
      • ‘By the age of five he was speaking French, having been instructed by a distant cousin in the back seat of grandmother's LaSalle.’
      • ‘However, it still shares many (if not most) of the same characteristics of our distant ancestors.’
      • ‘She looks more human now, but still behaves like her distant cousins.’
      • ‘Even if you counted distant third cousins, our ancestors might have been exposed to a grand total of 500 people in their lifetime.’
      • ‘Reflecting back on a day of preparation for two hours of company, I wonder about our dim, distant ancestors.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In fact the commando - described as a ‘splendid man’ by Lord Harewood - was merely a distant cousin.’
      • ‘And if you tossed his distant cousin out of his house, wouldn't he mind that?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If someone asks me how I'm related to the bride or groom, I say I'm a distant cousin.’
      • ‘The cousins were distant (what we call in Scotland ‘out-cousins’) and monied and rather flash.’
      • ‘They tell him not to get it removed, a surgical procedure that would take five minutes according to Krishnanunni's distant cousin in town.’
      • ‘Do they dare range this far north, leaving south Florida's brackish mangrove swamps, to court some 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 was cold and distant with everyone outside his tribe, and quiet when dealing even with his own.’
    • ‘Even conditions like schizophrenia and autism were blamed on environmental factors like cold and distant mothers.’
    • ‘Caught up in his naval background, he was distant and impersonal.’
    • ‘They are not the ordinances of a stern and distant judge but the loving gift of the bridegroom to his beloved.’
    • ‘Even normally cool and distant Daniel was trying his best to control his emotions, he was so afraid he would break down.’
    • ‘This night they were distant and cold, displaced from the rest of the world, impartial observers of what happened here.’
    • ‘An elderly couple holiday with their two sons, but something is clearly amiss; the mother is distant and surly, ignoring everything around her.’
    • ‘The memoirs describing late nineteenth-century childhood are replete with images of cold, distant parents.’
    • ‘Her memories were of a kind and generous man who contrasted sharply with her cold and distant mother.’
    • ‘But the dog demon was growing colder and more distant with each passing day.’
    • ‘But something seemed to have changed between them, and now they were distant with each other.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They were cold and distant with each other having had very little contact in the past two weeks.’
    • ‘Jack was distant, unfriendly at best, and then he even abruptly pulled out a textbook and started to read it, blocking us out completely.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He was distant with his daughter and didn't even bother to attend her wedding.’
    • ‘He grew up poor, with a violent, domineering mother and a cold, distant father.’
    • ‘He was so distant and reserved now, but I had no idea how he had been before.’
    • ‘My mom was distant and cold, and very uninvolved in my life.’
    aloof, reserved, remote, detached, unapproachable, stand-offish, keeping people at arm's length
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    1. 2.1Remote; abstracted.
      ‘a distant look in his eyes’
      • ‘She showed how to be regal without being remote, dignified without being distant and she had the loveliest smile in the world.’
      • ‘‘It's so distant and remote, they thought nobody would ever find it,’ says county sheriff Ronnie Oakes.’
      • ‘The young knight nodded, but his eyes were distant, his face drawn.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He thought a moment and then nodded, but a distant look had overtaken his eyes.’
      • ‘The result is a series of distant, icy meditations on life and living; impossibly remote and unhealthily introspective.’
      • ‘Sometimes the distant and remote are better at igniting our compassion than the close and familiar.’
      • ‘There was certainly nothing remote or distant about her own sense of dignity.’
      • ‘Now his attention was on the distant mental strings of summoning power he wielded.’
      • ‘On those nights, they sat on the patio together, Leon attentive, Sylvie responsive, yet distant somehow.’
      • ‘It seemed that her features changed, became remote, distant.’
      • ‘Aria nodded and looked away, as if in distant thought.’
      • ‘He was still the same, attentive and distant at the same time, while Alex tried to act as if they were just friends.’
      • ‘Aislinn nodded gravely, her eyes momentarily taking on a distant light.’
      • ‘Kaitya nodded, her eyes were beginning to regain their glazed distant feel.’
      • ‘I snap to attention, finding myself irritated by the distant glint in her shapely 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.