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

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


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