distinct


distinct
distinct 1 Distinct, separate, several, discrete are comparable when used in reference to two or more things (sometimes persons) and in the sense of not being individually the same.
Distinct always implies a capacity for being distinguished by the eye or by the mind as apart from the other or others, sometimes in space or in time but more often in character, nature, or identity
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I see three distinct objects in the distance, but I cannot identify them

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the novel has two related, but nevertheless distinct, plots

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there has been endless discussion whether we have a distinct faculty for the knowledge of God— Inge

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for him the work of literature is not distinct or separable from its author— L. P. Smith

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Separate (see also SINGLE) is often used interchangeably with distinct and often in combination with it, as if one strengthened the other
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the power ... is given in two separate and distinct sections of the constitution— John Marshall

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these two characteristics were not separate and distinct. . . they were held together in vital tension— Ellis

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But separate stresses, as distinct does not, the lack of a connection between the things considered, usually by reason of the distance in space or time or the difference in identity of the things in question; thus, a drama with two separate plots is not the same as one with two distinct plots, for separate implies no connection (or, often, only a factitious connection) between the plots, while distinct suggests only that they can be distinguished
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a nicety and force of touch, which is an endowment separate from pictorial genius, though indispensable to its exercisqH awthorne

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the reestablishment of ethics and esthetics as separate and autonomous realms— Krutchy

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Separate is also often used in preference to distinct when an opposition to common or shared is implied
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please give us separate rooms

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the children had separate toys and separate books

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Several (see also MANY) is somewhat formal or old-fashioned in this sense; it implies an existence, a character, a status, or a location separate or distinct from that of similar items. It may modify a singular noun, especially when "each" precedes, as well as a plural noun
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conduct these knights unto their several lodgings— Shak.

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each individual seeks a sev'ral gosd—Pope

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will call the members ... for their several opinions— New Republic

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a network of concrete highways upon the several states— W. H. Hamilton

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Discrete, even more than separate, implies that the individuals are not the same and are not connected; it is often more precise than separate because it stresses numerical distinctness (that is, distinctness as individuals) rather than difference in kind, nature, or goal; thus, discrete things may be exactly the same in appearance, nature, or value, but they are not selfsame and are physically disconnected
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the dumb creation lives a life made up of discrete and mutually irrelevant episodes— Huxley

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[the phage] has been identified as existing in discrete units, that is, it is a particle like granulated sugar and not a continuum like molasses— Furnas

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the conclusion that gases are made up of discrete units (molecules)— Hogbeny

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Analogous words: individual, distinctive, peculiar (see CHARACTERISTIC): *single, sole, separate, particular: particular, individual, *special, especial: *different, diverse, disparate, divergent
Contrasted words: *same, selfsame, identical
2 *evident, manifest, patent, obvious, apparent, palpable, plain, clear
Analogous words: defined, prescribed (see PRESCRIBE): *explicit, definite, express, specific, categorical: perspicuous, *clear, lucid: clear-cut, *incisive, trenchant
Antonyms: indistinct: nebulous
Contrasted words: vague, *obscure, dark, enigmatic, cryptic

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • distinct — distinct, incte [ distɛ̃(kt), ɛ̃kt ] adj. • 1308; lat. distinctus, de distinguere 1 ♦ Qui ne se confond pas avec qqch. d analogue, de voisin. ⇒ autre, différent, indépendant, séparé. Problèmes, domaines distincts. « la politique n est pas… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • distinct — distinct, distinctive 1. Both words are related to the verb distinguish, but distinct means essentially ‘separate, different’ (The word has several distinct meanings) or ‘unmistakable, decided’ (She has a distinct impression of being watched),… …   Modern English usage

  • distinct — DISTÍNCT, Ă, distincţi, te, adj. 1. Care se deosebeşte prin anumite trăsături proprii de alte lucruri de acelaşi fel sau asemănătoare; deosebit, diferit. 2. (Adesea adverbial) Clar, evident, lămurit, desluşit. – Din fr. distinct, lat. distinctus …   Dicționar Român

  • Distinct — Dis*tinct , a. [L. distinctus, p. p. of distinguere: cf. F. distinct. See {Distinguish}.] 1. Distinguished; having the difference marked; separated by a visible sign; marked out; specified. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] Wherever thus created for no place …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • distinct — I (clear) adjective apparent, clarus, clear cut, clear to the mind, clear to the senses, clearly defined, concrete, conspicuous, crystal clear, definite, distinctus, distinguishable, easily perceived, easily understood, eidetic, evident, explicit …   Law dictionary

  • distinct — distinct, te (di stin, stin kt ; il y a trois manières différentes de prononcer ce mot au masculin : les uns disent di stinkt , les autres di stink ; d autres enfin di stin ; cette dernière manière a pour elle l analogie ; c était celle du temps… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • distinct — [di stiŋkt′] adj. [ME & OFr < L distinctus, pp. of distinguere: see DISTINGUISH] 1. not alike; different 2. not the same; separate; individual 3. clearly perceived or marked off; clear; plain [a distinct image] 4. well defined; unmistakable;… …   English World dictionary

  • distinct — DISTINCT, INCTE. adject. Différent, séparé d un autre. Ce sont deux choses bien distinctes. Il faut que les articles d un compte soient bien distincts. [b]f♛/b] Il signifie aussi, Clair et net. Un son distinct, une voix distincte. Une vue… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • distinct — [adj1] apparent, obvious audible, categorical, clean cut, clear, clear cut, decided, definite, enunciated, evident, explicit, express, incisive, lucid, manifest, marked, noticeable, palatable, patent, perspicuous, plain, prescribed, recognizable …   New thesaurus

  • distinct — Distinct, [distin]cte. adj. v. Different, separé d un autre. Ce sont deux choses bien distinctes. il faut que les articles d un compte soient distincts. Il signifie aussi, Clair & net. Un son distinct. une voix distincte. une veüe distincte. en… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française


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