Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Separate or apart in space.
  • adj. Far removed; remote: distant lands.
  • adj. Coming from or going to a distance: a distant sound; a distant telephone call.
  • adj. Far removed or apart in time: the distant past; distant events.
  • adj. Far apart in relationship: a distant cousin.
  • adj. Minimally similar: a distant likeness.
  • adj. Far removed mentally: distant thoughts.
  • adj. Aloof or chilly: a distant smile.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. far off (physically, logically or mentally)
  • adj. emotionally unresponsive or unwilling to express genuine feelings

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Separated; having an intervening space; at a distance; away.
  • adj. Far separated; far off; not near; remote; -- in place, time, consanguinity, or connection
  • adj. Reserved or repelling in manners; cold; not cordial; somewhat haughty.
  • adj. Indistinct; faint; obscure, as from distance.
  • adj. Not conformable; discrepant; repugnant.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To keep separate; distinguish.
  • Standing or being apart from a given point or place; situated at a different point in space, or, by extension, in time; separated by a distance: as, a point a line or a hair's-breadth distant from another; Saturn is estimated to be about 880,000,000 miles distant from the sun.
  • Remote; far off or far apart in space, time, connection, prospect, kind, degree, sound, etc.: as, distant stars; a distant period; distant relatives; a distant hope; a distant resemblance.
  • Specifically
  • In entomology: Thinly placed or scattered: as, distant punctures, striæ, spines, etc.: opposed to close, contiguous, etc.
  • Widely separated, or more separated than usual: opposed to approximate: as, distant eyes (widely separated at the base); distant legs or antennæ.
  • Separated by an incisure or joint, as the head and thorax of a beetle.
  • Indirect; not obvious or plain.
  • Not cordial or familiar; characterized by haughtiness, coldness, or reserve; cool; reserved; shy: as, distant manners.
  • Synonyms Removed. Cool, cold, haughty, frigid.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. located far away spatially
  • adj. far apart in relevance or relationship or kinship
  • adj. separate or apart in time
  • adj. remote in manner
  • adj. separated in space or coming from or going to a distance

Etymologies

Middle English distaunt, from Old French, from Latin distāns, distant-, present participle of distāre, to be remote : dis-, apart; see dis- + stāre, to stand; see stā- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English, from Old French, from Latin distans, present participle of distare ("to stand apart, be separate, distant, or different"), from di-, dis- ("apart") + stare ("to stand"). (Wiktionary)

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