follow Dictionary.com

Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers

distance

[dis-tuh ns] /ˈdɪs təns/
noun
1.
the extent or amount of space between two things, points, lines, etc.
2.
the state or fact of being apart in space, as of one thing from another; remoteness.
3.
a linear extent of space:
Seven miles is a distance too great to walk in an hour.
4.
an expanse; area:
A vast distance of water surrounded the ship.
5.
the interval between two points of time; an extent of time:
His vacation period was a good distance away.
6.
remoteness or difference in any respect:
Our philosophies are a long distance apart.
7.
an amount of progress:
We've come a long distance on the project.
8.
a distant point, place, or region.
9.
the distant part of a field of view:
a tree in the distance.
10.
absence of warmth; reserve:
Their first meeting in several years was hampered by a certain distance between them.
11.
Music. interval (def 6).
13.
Horse Racing. (in a heat race) the space measured back from the winning post that a horse must reach by the time the winner passes the winning post or be eliminated from subsequent heats.
14.
Mathematics. the greatest lower bound of differences between points, one from each of two given sets.
15.
Obsolete. disagreement or dissension; a quarrel.
verb (used with object), distanced, distancing.
16.
to leave behind at a distance, as at a race; surpass.
17.
to place at a distance.
18.
to cause to appear distant.
Idioms
19.
go the distance,
  1. (in horse racing) to be able to run well in a long race.
  2. Informal. to finish or complete something, especially something difficult, challenging, or requiring sustained effort.
20.
keep at a distance, to treat coldly or in an unfriendly manner.
21.
keep one's distance, to avoid becoming familiar or involved; remain cool or aloof.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English < Latin distantia, equivalent to distant- (see distant) + -ia -y3; replacing Middle English destaunce < Anglo-French
Related forms
distanceless, adjective
Synonyms
10. remoteness, restraint, coolness, aloofness.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for distance
  • The researchers identified a range of physical traits that suggest human ancestors evolved as distance runners.
  • The essential challenge of distance learning is overcoming distance.
  • Out in the distance a huge plant spews out cement and aggregate for yet more construction.
  • Since the path and distance actually traversed by neutrinos is not precisely determinable, this result is inconclusive.
  • But it was a country he knew only from a great distance.
  • The lap pool is sheltered from the wind by a retaining wall and a hillside in the distance.
  • It is both rocky and orbits its parent star at a distance where liquid water could reasonably be expected to exist.
  • Have them imagine that distance in their town-from the school to a major local landmark, for example.
  • During the final approach, these images are used when the distance becomes small.
  • Nevertheless mankind is able to move enormous blocks over long distance since thousands of years.
British Dictionary definitions for distance

distance

/ˈdɪstəns/
noun
1.
the intervening space between two points or things
2.
the length of this gap
3.
the state of being apart in space; remoteness
4.
an interval between two points in time
5.
the extent of progress; advance
6.
a distant place or time: he lives at a distance from his work
7.
a separation or remoteness in relationship; disparity
8.
(geometry)
  1. the length of the shortest line segment joining two points
  2. the length along a straight line or curve
9.
the distance, the most distant or a faraway part of the visible scene or landscape
10.
(horse racing)
  1. (Brit) a point on a racecourse 240 yards from the winning post
  2. (Brit) any interval of more than 20 lengths between any two finishers in a race
  3. (US) the part of a racecourse that a horse must reach in any heat before the winner passes the finishing line in order to qualify for later heats
11.
go the distance
  1. (boxing) to complete a bout without being knocked out
  2. to be able to complete an assigned task or responsibility
12.
keep one's distance, to maintain a proper or discreet reserve in respect of another person
13.
the distant parts of a picture, such as a landscape
14.
middle distance
  1. (in a picture) halfway between the foreground and the horizon
  2. (in a natural situation) halfway between the observer and the horizon
15.
(modifier) (athletics) relating to or denoting the longer races, usually those longer than a mile: a distance runner
verb (transitive)
16.
to hold or place at a distance
17.
to separate (oneself) mentally or emotionally from something
18.
to outdo; outstrip
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for distance
n.

late 13c., "quarrel, estrangement, discord, strife," from Old French destance (13c.), from Latin distantia "a standing apart," from distantem (nominative distans) "standing apart, separate, distant," present participle of distare "stand apart," from dis- "apart, off" (see dis-) + stare "to stand" (see stet).

Meaning "remoteness, space between things or places" is late 14c. The figurative sense of "aloofness" is the same as in stand-offish. Phrase go the distance (1930s) seems to be originally from the prize ring, where the word meant "scheduled length of a bout."

v.

1570s (transitive); 1640s (intransitive), from distance (n.). Related: Distanced; distancing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
distance in Medicine

distance dis·tance (dĭs'təns)
n.
The extent of space between two objects or places; an intervening space.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with distance
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Slide the arrow to see easier and harder words for distance
Easy Moderate Difficult

Word Value for distance

11
13
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with distance

Nearby words for distance