follow Dictionary.com

Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers

distinctive

[dih-stingk-tiv] /dɪˈstɪŋk tɪv/
adjective
1.
serving to distinguish; characteristic; distinguishing:
the distinctive stripes of the zebra.
2.
having a special quality, style, attractiveness, etc.; notable.
Origin
1575-1585
1575-85; < Medieval Latin distinctīvus, equivalent to Latin distinct(us) distinct + -īvus -ive
Related forms
distinctively, adverb
distinctiveness, noun
subdistinctive, adjective
subdistinctively, adverb
subdistinctiveness, noun
Can be confused
Synonyms
1. individual.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for distinctive
  • It is the process of star birth that gives N11 its distinctive look.
  • Some family names almost beg for a distinctive given name.
  • Their location and characteristic patterns are often distinctive.
  • Great wines, almost everyone can agree, are distinctive.
  • Newspapers are becoming more distinctive and customer-focused.
  • With care paid to each image, this is a charming, distinctive primer.
  • This 20- to 35-foot tree has distinctive shiny green bark with white stripes.
  • The online medium also makes for very distinctive, even surprising bestsellers.
  • Those colors are as distinctive to each element as fingerprints are to people.
  • The animation is spectacular, with smooth movements and distinctive expressions.
British Dictionary definitions for distinctive

distinctive

/dɪˈstɪŋktɪv/
adjective
1.
serving or tending to distinguish
2.
denoting one of a set of minimal features of a phoneme in a given language that serve to distinguish it from other phonemes. The distinctive features of /p/ in English are that it is voiceless, bilabial, non-nasal, and plosive; /b/ is voiced, bilabial, non-nasal, and plosive: the two differ by the distinctive feature of voice
Derived Forms
distinctively, adverb
distinctiveness, noun
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 distinctive
adj.

early 15c., from Old French distinctif and directly from Medieval Latin distinctivus, from Latin distinct-, past participle of distinguere (see distinguish). Meaning "markedly individual" is from 1580s. Related: Distinctively; distinctiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Click to see easier and harder words for distinctive

Word Value for distinctive

17
20
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with distinctive