1. distinguished as not being the same; not identical; separate (sometimes followed by from): His private and public lives are distinct.
  2. different in nature or quality; dissimilar (sometimes followed by from): Gold is distinct from iron.
  3. clear to the senses or intellect; plain; unmistakable: The ship appeared as a distinct silhouette.
  4. distinguishing or perceiving clearly: distinct vision.
  5. unquestionably exceptional or notable: a distinct honor.
  6. Archaic. distinctively decorated or adorned.


  1. easily sensed or understood; clear; precise
  2. (when postpositive, foll by from) not the same (as); separate (from); distinguished (from)
  3. not alike; different
  4. sharp; clear
  5. recognizable; definitea distinct improvement
  6. explicit; unequivocal
  7. maths logic (of a pair of entities) not identical
  8. botany (of parts of a plant) not joined together; separate

late 14c., originally past participle of distincten (c.1300) “to distinguish,” from Old French distincter, from Latin distinctus, past participle of distinguere (see distinguish). Related: Distinctness.

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