9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[dih-stingk-tiv] /dɪˈstɪŋk tɪv/
serving to distinguish; characteristic; distinguishing:
the distinctive stripes of the zebra.
having a special quality, style, attractiveness, etc.; notable.
Origin of distinctive
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
1. individual. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for distinctively
  • No, orbital angular momentum of light is distinctively different than spin angular momentum of light, aka polarization.
  • King penguins' flippers are distinctively large, helping them dive deep in the icy ocean.
  • It can help to preserve and develop local cuisines, based on distinctively local ingredients supplied by local farmers.
  • All of the rooms are unique and distinctively decorated with antique furniture.
  • Rooms at the resort are distinctively decorated with elegant furniture and opulent amenities.
  • The inn features an on-site restaurant and seven guest rooms, each distinctively decorated.
  • All the eleven stories here strike her distinctively frivolous-serious note.
  • Such equipment is identified by being distinctively marked.
  • Chemotherapy is a distinctively different approach than surgery and radiation therapy to treat cancer.
  • Scorpions are closely related to spiders and have distinctively long tails tipped with a stinger.
British Dictionary definitions for distinctively


serving or tending to distinguish
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
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Word Origin and History for distinctively



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
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