See also: distancé

English

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Etymology

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From Middle English distance, distaunce, destance (disagreement, dispute; discrimination; armed conflict; hostility; trouble; space between two points; time interval),[1] from Anglo-Norman distance, distaunce, destance, Middle French distance, and Old French destance, destaunce, distaunce (debate; difference, distinction; discord, quarrel; dispute; space between two points; time interval) (modern French distance), and directly from their etymon Latin distantia (difference, diversity; distance, remoteness; space between two points) (whence also Late Latin distantia (disagreement; discrepancy; gap, opening; time interval)), from distāns (being distant; standing apart) + -ia (suffix forming feminine abstract nouns).[2] Distāns is the present active participle of distō (to be distant; to stand apart; to differ), from dis- (prefix meaning ‘apart, asunder; in two’) + stō (to stand) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *steh₂- (to stand (up))).

The verb is derived from the noun.[3]

Pronunciation

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Noun

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distance (countable and uncountable, plural distances)

  1. (countable)
    1. An amount of space between points (often geographical points), usually (but not necessarily) measured along a straight line.
      • 1584, Arthur Barlowe, “The First Voyage Made to the Coastes of America, with Two Barkes, wherein were Captaines Master Philip Amadas, and Master Arthur Barlowe, who Discouered Part of the Countrey, Now Called Virginia, Anno 1584. Written by One of the Said Captaines, and Sent to Sir Walter Raleigh, Knight, at whose Charge and Direction, the Said Voyage was Set foorth.”, in Richard Hakluyt, The Principall Navigations, Voiages, and Discoveries of the English Nation, [], London: [] George Bishop and Ralph Newberie, deputies to Christopher Barker, [], published 1589, →OCLC, page 731:
        [S]he [] gaue vs into our boate our ſupper halfe dreſſed, pots, and all, and brought vs to our boates ſide, in which wee laye all night, remoouing the ſame a pretie diſtance from the ſhoare: []
      • c. 1596–1599 (date written), William Shakespeare, The Second Part of Henrie the Fourth, [], quarto edition, London: [] V[alentine] S[immes] for Andrew Wise, and William Aspley, published 1600, →OCLC, [Act IV, scene i], signature G2, recto:
        The prince is here at hand, pleaſeth your Lordſhip / To meet his grace iuſt diſtance tvveene our armies.
      • 1634, T[homas] H[erbert], “[Holy Port]”, in A Relation of Some Yeares Trauaile, Begunne Anno 1626. into Afrique and the Greater Asia, [], London: [] William Stansby, and Jacob Bloome, →OCLC, page 3:
        The third of Aprill, early in the morning, vvee had ſight of the Holy Port [Porto Santo], belonging to the Spaniard, vvhich Ile at eight leagues diſtance, gaue it ſelfe in this ſhape vnto vs.
      • 1678, John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress from This World, to That which is to Come: [], London: [] Nath[aniel] Ponder [], →OCLC; reprinted in The Pilgrim’s Progress (The Noel Douglas Replicas), London: Noel Douglas, [], 1928, →OCLC, page 4:
        Novv by this time the Man vvas got a good diſtance from them; But hovvever they vvere reſolved to purſue him; vvhich they did and in little time they over-took him
      • 1689 (indicated as 1690), [John Locke], “Of Simple Modes; and First, of the Simple Modes of Space”, in An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding. [], London: [] Eliz[abeth] Holt, for Thomas Basset, [], →OCLC, book II, §§ 2–3, page 75:
        [W]e get the Idea of Space, both by our Sight, and Touch; vvhich, I think, is ſo evident, that it vvould be as needleſs, to go to prove, that Men perceive by their Sight, a diſtance betvveen Bodies of different Colours, or betvveen the parts of the ſame Body; as that they ſee Colours themſelves: Nor is it leſs obvious, that they can do ſo in the Dark by Feeling and Touch. This Space conſidered barely in length betvveen any tvvo Beings, vvithout conſidering any thing elſe betvveen them, is called diſtance: If conſidered in Length, Breadth, and Thickneſs, I think, it may be called Capacity: []
      • 1697, William Dampier, chapter VIII, in A New Voyage Round the World. [], London: [] James Knapton, [], →OCLC, page 225:
        VVe kept at a good diſtance off ſhore, and ſavv no Land till the 14th day; but then, being in lat. 12 d. 50 m. the Volcan of Guatimala appeared in ſight.
      • 1713 November 3 (Gregorian calendar), [Joseph Addison], “Tuesday, September 22. 1713.”, in The Guardian, number 167, London: [] J[acob] Tonson []; and sold by A. Baldwin [], →OCLC, page [2], column 1:
        Helim had placed tvvo of his ovvn Mules at about a Mile's Diſtance from the black Temple, on the Spot vvhich they had agreed upon for their Rendezvous.
      • 1813, Percy Bysshe Shelley, “Notes. I. Page 13.”, in Queen Mab; [], London: [] P. B. Shelley, [], →OCLC, page 125:
        [O]bservations on the eclipses of Jupiter's satellites have demonstrated that light takes up no more than 8′ 7″ in passing from the sun to the earth, a distance of 95,000,000 miles.
      • 1918, W[illiam] B[abington] Maxwell, chapter VIII, in The Mirror and the Lamp, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, →OCLC, pages 53–54:
        Then everybody once more knelt, and soon the blessing was pronounced. The choir and the clergy trooped out slowly, through the open screen, down the nave to the western door. [] At a seemingly immense distance the surpliced group stopped to say the last prayer.
      • 1944, W[illiam] Somerset Maugham, chapter 7, in The Razor’s Edge [], 1st American edition, Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, Doran & Co., →OCLC, section iv, page 355:
        I have never been to Dallas, but I suppose that, like other American cities I know, it has a residential district within easy motoring distance of the business section and the country club where the affluent have fine houses in large gardens with a handsome view of hill or dale from the living-room windows.
      1. (horse racing) Chiefly in by a distance: a space of more than 30 lengths (about 80 yards or 7.3 metres) between two racehorses finishing a race, used to describe the margin of victory; also (archaic), any space of 240 yards (about 219.5 metres) on a racecourse.
    2. Chiefly in from a distance: a place which is far away or remote; specifically (especially painting), a more remote part of a landscape or view as contrasted with the foreground.
      • 1709, George Berkeley, “[Section] LXXII. Objection Answer’d.”, in An Essay towards a New Theory of Vision, Dublin: [] Aaron Rhames, [], for Jeremy [i.e., Jeremiah] Pepyat, [], →OCLC, page 79:
        VVhen from a Diſtance (I ſpeak vvith the Vulgar) vve behold great Objects, the Particles of the intermediate Air and Vapours, vvhich are themſelves unperceivable, do interrupt the Rays of Light, and thereby render the Appearance leſs Strong and Vivid; []
      • 1782, William Cowper, “The Progress of Error”, in Poems, London: [] J[oseph] Johnson, [], →OCLC, page 51:
        Vievv'd from a diſtance, and vvith heedleſs eyes, / Folly and innocence are ſo alike, / The diff'rence, though eſſential, fails to ſtrike.
      • 1819 June 23, Geoffrey Crayon [pseudonym; Washington Irving], “Rip Van Winkle”, in The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent., number I, New York, N.Y.: [] C. S. Van Winkle, [], →OCLC, page 71:
        As he was about to descend, he heard a voice from a distance, hallooing, "Rip Van Winkle! Rip Van Winkle!"
      • 1839, Charles Darwin, chapter I, in Narrative of the Surveying Voyages of His Majesty’s Ships Adventure and Beagle, between the Years 1826 and 1836, [], volume III, London: Henry Colburn, [], →OCLC, page 8:
        The rocks of St. Paul appear from a distance of a brilliantly white colour. This is partly owing to the dung of a vast multitude of seafowl, and partly to a coating of a glossy white substance, which is intimately united to the surface of the rocks.
      • 1843 December 19, Charles Dickens, “Stave Three. The Second of the Three Spirits.”, in A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas, London: Chapman & Hall, [], →OCLC, pages 104–105:
        And every man on board [the ship], waking or sleeping, good or bad, had had a kinder word for another on that day than on any day in the year; and had shared to some extent in its festivities; and had remembered those he cared for at a distance, and had known that they delighted to remember him.
      • 1866, C[harles] Kingsley, “Prelude. Of the Fens.”, in Hereward the Wake, “Last of the English.” [], volume I, London, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire: Macmillan and Co., →OCLC, page 18:
        Dark and sad were those short autumn days, when all the distances were shut off, and the air choked with foul brown fog and drenching rains from off the eastern sea; []
      • 1985 (date written), Julie Gold (lyrics and music), “From a Distance”, in Lone Star State of Mind, performed by Nanci Griffith, Universal City, Calif.: MCA Records, published 1987, →OCLC:
        From a distance, you look like my friend / Even though we are at war / From a distance, I just cannot comprehend / What all this fighting's for // [] // God is watching us / From a distance
    3. Chiefly with a modifying word: a measure between two points or quantities; a difference, a variance.
      angular distance    focal distance
      The distance between the lowest and next gear on my bicycle is annoying.
    4. An interval or length of time between events.
      • 1697, Richard Bentley, “Of Phalaris’s Epistles”, in A Dissertation upon the Epistles of Phalaris, Themistocles, Socrates, Euripides, and Others; and the Fables of Æsop, London: [] J. Leake, for Peter Buck, [], →OCLC, page 39:
        VVe cannot tell, at this diſtance of time, vvhich Converſation vvas firſt, that vvith Phalaris, or that vvith Leon.
      • 1718, Mat[thew] Prior, “Postscript”, in Poems on Several Occasions, London: [] Jacob Tonson [], and John Barber [], →OCLC, signature d, recto:
        I Muſt help my Preface by a Poſtſcript, to tell the Reader, that there is Ten Years Diſtance betvveen my vvriting the One and the Other; and that (vvhatever I thought then, and have ſomevvhere ſaid, that I vvould publiſh no more Poetry) He vvill find ſeveral Copies of Verſes ſcattered through this Edition, vvhich vvere not printed in the Firſt.
      • 1774 (first performance), Samuel Foote, edited by [George] Colman, The Cozeners; a Comedy, [], London: [] T[homas] Sherlock, for T[homas] Cadell, [], published 1778, →OCLC, Act III, page 64:
        You vvill take this draught, three times a-day, at tvvo hours' diſtance, firſt ſhaking it vvell.
      • 1795, John Playfair, “Preface”, in Elements of Geometry; Containing the First Six Books of Euclid, with Two Books on the Geometry of Solids. [], Edinburgh: [] Bell & Bradfute, and G[eorge] G[eorge] & J[ohn] Robinson, [], →OCLC, page iii:
        IT is a remarkable fact in the hiſtory of ſcience, that the oldeſt book of Elementary Geometry is ſtill conſidered as the beſt, and that the vvritings of Euclid, at the diſtance of tvvo thouſand years, continue to form the moſt approved introduction to the mathematical ſciences.
      • 1849, Thomas Babington Macaulay, chapter IV, in The History of England from the Accession of James II, volume I, London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, →OCLC, page 455:
        But the new sovereign's mind was haunted by an apprehension not to be mentioned, even at this distance of time, without shame and indignation.
    5. (figurative) A separation in some way other than space or time.
      The friendship did not survive the row: they kept each other at a distance.
    6. (obsolete)
      1. Synonym of length (an extent measured along the longest dimension of an object)
      2. (figurative) A disagreement, a dispute; also, an estrangement.
        Synonym: quarrel
      3. (music) A difference in pitch between sounds; an interval.
  2. (uncountable)
    1. The amount of space between points (often geographical points), usually (but not necessarily) measured along a straight line.
      The distance to Petersborough is thirty miles.
      From Moscow, the distance is relatively short to Saint Petersburg, relatively long to Novosibirsk, but even greater to Vladivostok.
      1. (boxing)
        1. The maximum amount of space between a boxer and their opponent within which the boxer can punch effectively.
        2. Often in go the distance, last the distance, or stay the distance: the scheduled duration of a bout.
      2. (fencing) The amount of space between a fencer and their opponent, which the fencer tries to control in order to gain an advantage over the opponent.
      3. (horse racing) Originally, the space measured back from the winning post which a racehorse running in a heat must reach when the winner has covered the whole course, in order to run in a subsequent heat; also, the point on the racecourse that space away from the winning post; now, the point on a racecourse 240 yards from the winning post.
        • 1692, Roger L’Estrange, “[The Fables of Abstemius, &c.] Fab[le] CCCXXXIX. A Plain Horse Wins the Prize.”, in Fables, of Æsop and Other Eminent Mythologists: [], London: [] R[ichard] Sare, [], →OCLC, page 296:
          THere vvere a Great many Brave, Sightly Horſes vvith Rich Trappings that vvere brought out One day to the Courſe, and Only One Plain Nag in the Company that made ſport for All the reſt. But vvhen they came at laſt to the Tryal, This vvas the Horſe that ran the VVhole Field out of Diſtance, and VVon the Race. / The MORAL. Our Senſes are No Competent Judges of the Excellencies of the Mind.
      4. (military) The amount of space between soldiers or cavalry riders marching or standing in a rank; also, the amount of space between such ranks.
      5. (sports) The complete length of a course over which a race is run.
    2. Chiefly preceded by the, especially in into or in the distance: the place that is far away or remote.
    3. The state of being separated from something else, especially by a long way; the state of being far off or remote; farness, remoteness.
    4. (figurative)
      1. The entire amount of progress to an objective.
        He had promised to perform this task, but did not go the distance.
      2. The state of remoteness or separation in some way other than space or time.
        the distance between a descendant and their ancestor
        We’re narrowing the distance between the two versions of the bill.
      3. The state of people not being close, friendly, or intimate with each other; also, the state of people who were once close, friendly, or intimate with each other no longer being so; estrangement.
        (state of not being close): Synonym: alienation
      4. Excessive reserve or lack of friendliness shown by a person; aloofness, coldness.
        Synonyms: standoffishness, unfriendliness, unsociableness
    5. (obsolete, figurative)
      1. The rank to which an important person belongs.
        • a. 1631 (date written), J[ohn] Donne, “To the Countesse of Huntington”, in Poems, [] with Elegies on the Authors Death, London: [] M[iles] F[lesher] for John Marriot, [], published 1639, →OCLC, page 191:
          [T]o your eye, / Theſe (Madame) that vvithout your diſtance lie, / Muſt either miſt, or nothing ſeeme to be, []
        • 1655, Thomas Fuller, “Section II. To Mr. Thomas Bowyer of the Old Jury Merchant.”, in The Church-history of Britain; [], London: [] Iohn Williams [], →OCLC, book, subsection 33 (Of Those who Died in Prison), page 23:
          I am not ſatisfied in vvhat diſtance properly to place theſe perſons. Some, perchance, vvill account it too high, to rank them amongſt Martyrs; and ſurely, I conceive it too lovv, to eſteem them but bare Confeſſours.
      2. The state of disagreement or dispute between people; dissension.
        • c. 1606 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Macbeth”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act III, scene i], page 140, column 1:
          Macb[eth]. Both of you knovv Banquo vvas your Enemie. / Murth[erer]. True, my Lord. / Macb. So is he mine: and in ſuch bloody diſtance, / That euery minute of his being, thruſts / Againſt my neer'ſt of Life: []
        • 1625, Francis [Bacon], “Of Seditions and Troubles”, in The Essayes [], 3rd edition, London: [] Iohn Haviland for Hanna Barret, →OCLC, page 88:
          Generally, the Diuiding and Breaking of all Factions, and Combinations that are aduerſe to the State, and ſetting them at diſtance, or at leaſt diſtruſt amongſt themſelues, is not one of the vvorſt Remedies.
        • 1667 September 20 (date written; Gregorian calendar), Samuel Pepys, Mynors Bright, transcriber, “September 10th, 1667”, in Henry B[enjamin] Wheatley, editor, The Diary of Samuel Pepys [], volume VII, London: George Bell & Sons []; Cambridge: Deighton Bell & Co., published 1896, →OCLC, page 107:
          He tells me, among other things, that this business of the Chancellor do breed a kind of inward distance between the King and the Duke of York, and that it cannot be avoided; []
        • 1751 December (indicated as 1752), Henry Fielding, “Mr. Booth Continues His Story. []”, in Amelia. [], volume I, London: [] [William Strahan] for A[ndrew] Millar [], →OCLC, book II, pages 107–108:
          [T]he true Reaſon vvhy I did not mention her before, vvas, that I apprehended there vvas ſome little Diſtance betvveen them, vvhich I hoped to have the Happineſs of accommodating.
      3. Often followed by to or towards: an attitude of remoteness or reserve which respect requires; hence, ceremoniousness.
        • 1665 (first performance), John Dryden, The Indian Emperour, or, The Conquest of Mexico by the Spaniards. [], London: [] J[ohn] M[acock] for H[enry] Herringman [], published 1667, →OCLC, Act I, scene ii, page 4:
          [T]hough you ſee / The King is kind, I hope your modeſty / VVill knovv, vvhat diſtance to the Crovvn is due.
        • 1699, Richard Bentley, “A Dissertation upon the Epistles of Phalaris”, in A Dissertation upon the Epistles of Phalaris. With an Answer to the Objections of the Honourable Charles Boyle, Esquire, London: [] J[ohn] H[umphreys] for Henry Mortlock [], and John Hartley [], →OCLC, page 287:
          I vvill not ſift into them too minutely; for I'll obſerve the reſpect and diſtance that's due to him from his Scholar: []
        • 1706 October 9 (Gregorian calendar), Francis Atterbury, A Sermon Preach’d at the Guild-Hall Chapel, London, Septemb. 28. 1706. Being the Day of the Election of the Right Honourable the Lord Mayor. [], London: [] E. P. [Edmund Parker?] for Jonah Bowyer, [], →OCLC, page 7:
          Third plain Reaſon of the Publick Honours done to the Magiſtrate is, that he may not only be ſecure, but had alſo in due Eſtimation and Reverence by all thoſe vvho are ſubject to him. 'Tis by Reſpect and Diſtance that Authority is upheld; and 'tis by Outvvard Marks and Enſigns of Honour that Reſpect is ſecured; eſpecially from Vulgar Minds, vvhich do not enter into the true Reaſons of Things, but are govern'd by Appearances.
        • 1742, Henry Fielding, “What Passed betwee the Lady and Mrs. Slipslop, in which We Prophesy there are Some Strokes which Every One will Not Truly Comprehend at the First Reading”, in The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews, and of His Friend Mr. Abraham Adams. [], volume I, London: [] A[ndrew] Millar, [], →OCLC, book I, page 46:
          Slipſlop, vvho had preſerved hitherto a Diſtance to her Lady, [] anſvvered her Miſtreſs very pertly, []
        • 1817 December 31 (indicated as 1818), [Walter Scott], chapter [VI], in Rob Roy. [], volume I, Edinburgh: [] James Ballantyne and Co. for Archibald Constable and Co. []; London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, →OCLC, pages 128–129:
          It is not to be thought that, however strange and uncommon I might think her liberal and unreserved communications, a young man of two-and-twenty was likely to be severely critical on a beautiful girl of eighteen, for not observing a proper distance towards him; []

Alternative forms

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Derived terms

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Translations

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Verb

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distance (third-person singular simple present distances, present participle distancing, simple past and past participle distanced)

  1. (transitive)
    1. Often followed by from: to set (someone or something) at a distance (noun sense 1.1) from someone or something else.
      • 1659, Thomas Fuller, “The Second Book. Of the Conversion of the Saxons, and that which Followed thereupon till the Norman Conquest.”, in The Appeal of Iniured Innocence: Unto the Religious Learned and Ingenious Reader: In a Controversie betwixt the Animadvertor Dr. Peter Heylyn and the Author Thomas Fuller, London: [] W. Godbid, and are to be sold by John Williams [], →OCLC, part II, page 6:
        If therefore the Interpoſition of Gloceſterſhire diſtanceth VVorceſterſhire from confining on the VVeſt-Saxons, the Animadvertor ought to have vented his diſpleaſure not on Me, but on Bede, and [Henry of] Huntington, vvhoſe vvords I exactly tranſlated.
      • a. 1662 (date written), Thomas Fuller, “Lancashire”, in The History of the Worthies of England, London: [] J[ohn] G[rismond,] W[illiam] L[eybourne] and W[illiam] G[odbid], published 1662, →OCLC, page 106:
        The faireſt [oxen] in England are bred (or if you vvill, made) in this County, vvith goodly heads, the Tips of vvhoſe horns are ſometimes diſtanced five foot aſunder.
      • 1860, R[alph] W[aldo] Emerson, “Essay I. Fate.”, in The Conduct of Life, Boston, Mass.: Ticknor and Fields, →OCLC, page 22:
        It [an insight] distances those who share it, from those who share it not.
    2. To cause (a place, a thing, etc.) to seem distant, or (figurative) unfamiliar.
      • 1695, [Roger de Piles], “Observations on the Art of Painting of Charles Alphonse du Fresnoy”, in C[harles] A[lphonse] du Fresnoy, translated by John Dryden, De Arte Graphica. The Art of Painting, [], London: [] J[ohn] Heptinstall for W. Rogers, [], →OCLC, page 170:
        That vvhich gives the Relievo to a Bovvl, (may ſome ſay to me) is the quick Light, or the vvhite, vvhich appears to be on the ſide, vvhich is neareſt to us, and the black by conſequence diſtances the Object: []
      • 1854 April, James Russell Lowell, “Leaves from My Journal in Italy and Elsewhere. Italy.”, in Fireside Travels, Boston, Mass.: Ticknor and Fields, published 1864, →OCLC, page 191:
        Below you, where the valley widens greenly toward other mountains, which the ripe Italian air distances with a bloom like that on unplucked grapes, are more arches, ossified arteries of what was once the heart of the world.
    3. To leave behind (someone or something moving in the same direction; specifically, other competitors in a race) some distance away; to outpace, to outstrip.
      Synonyms: outdistance, (chiefly of a horse or its rider) outgallop, outrun
      • 1851, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Golden Legend, Boston, Mass.: Ticknor, Reed, and Fields, →OCLC, page 238:
        Our fleeter steeds have distanced our attendants; / They lag behind us with a slower pace; / We will await them under the green pendants / Of the great willows in this shady place.
      • 1891, Charles Egbert Craddock [pseudonym; Mary Noailles Murfree], chapter V, in In the “Stranger People’s” Country [], New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers, [], →OCLC, page 120:
        He heard only here and there the ecstatic burst of a mocking-bird's wonderful roulades. Then the horse, with muscles as strong as steel, distanced the sound.
    4. (figurative)
      1. To keep (someone) emotionally or socially apart from another person or people.
      2. To exceed or surpass (someone, such as a peer or rival); to outdo, to outstrip.
      3. (reflexive) To keep (oneself) away from someone or something, especially because one does not want to be associated with that person or thing.
        He distanced himself from the comments made by some of his colleagues.
        • 1662, Daniel Burston, ΈΥΑΓΓΕΛΙΣΤΗΣ ἐτι ΈΥΑΓΓΕΛΙΖΟΜΕΝΟΣ [ÉUAGGELISTES eti ÉUAGGELIZOMENOS] or, The Evangelist yet Evangelizing. [], Dublin: [] John Crook, [], and are to be sold by Samuel Dancer, [], →OCLC, page 41:
          [S]ince the Church hath, and ought to have a Government, it muſt not only be inoffenſive, but moſt proper, to call it an Hierarchy, or holy Government; [] Beſides, [John] Calvin admitting of ſacrum regimen [holy government], over nicely diſtanceth himſelf from thoſe vvho call it Hierarchy, for he ſaith the ſame in Latin, vvhich they do in Greek; []
        • 2017, Abby Green, “Prologue”, in A Christmas Bride for the King, London: Mills & Boon, →ISBN, page 7:
          [H]e'd built his life around an independence he'd cultivated as far back as he could remember. Distancing himself from his own family and the heavy legacy of his birth. Distancing himself from painful memories. Distancing himself from emotional entanglements or investment, which could only lead to unbearable heartbreak.
        • 2023 November 1, Philip Haigh, “TPE Must Choose the Right Route to a Brighter Future”, in Rail, number 995, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire: Bauer Media, →ISSN, →OCLC, page 57:
          But Gisby distances himself from calling TPE an inter-city operator.
    5. (chiefly US, horse racing, archaic) Of a racehorse: to beat (another horse) by a certain distance; also (passive voice), to cause (a horse) to be disqualified by beating it by a certain distance.
      • 1713 March 29 (Gregorian calendar), [Richard Steele], “Wednesday, March 18. 1713.”, in The Guardian, number 6, London: [] J[acob] Tonson []; and sold by A. Baldwin [], →OCLC, page [2], column 1:
        [H]e is of Opinion it is inhuman, that Animals ſhould be put upon their utmoſt Strength and Metal for our Diverſion only. Hovvever, not to be particular, he puts in for the Queen's Plate every Year, vvith Orders to his Rider never to vvin or be diſtanced; []
    6. (obsolete)
      1. To cover the entire distance to (something).
        • 1642, H[enry] M[ore], “ΨΥΧΑΘΑΝΑΣΙΑ [Psychathanasia] Platonica: Or A Platonicall Poem of the Immortality of Souls, Especially Mans Soul”, in ΨΥΧΩΔΙΑ [Psychōdia] Platonica: Or A Platonicall Song of the Soul, [], Cambridge, Cambridgeshire: [] Roger Daniel, printer to the Universitie, →OCLC, book 3, canto 1, stanza 21, page 61:
          The ſunne and all the ſtarres that do appear / She [Psyche] feels them in herſelf, can diſtance all, / For ſhe is at each one purely preſentiall.
      2. To depart from (a place); to leave (a place) behind.
        • 1873, [Elizabeth Charles], chapter VII, in Against the Stream: The Story of an Heroic Age in England [], volume I, London: Strahan & Co. [], →OCLC, page 139:
          [W]e heard the joyous voices sound louder and freer as they distanced the solemn precincts, scattering frolic and music through the town as they separated to their different homes.
      3. To indicate or measure the distance to (a place).
        • 1650, Thomas Fuller, “[The Generall Description of Judea] How the Hebrews Measured Places. Of Their Cubits, Furlongs, Miles and Sabbath-days-journeys.”, in A Pisgah-sight of Palestine and the Confines thereof, with the History of the Old and New Testament Acted thereon, London: [] J. F. for John Williams [], →OCLC, book I, paragraph 1, page 40:
          THe Hebrevvs diſtanced their places by ſeverall meaſures, ſome arbitrary, caſuall, and uncertain; others certain, as reduced to a conſtant ſtandard. Of the former vvas their meaſuring of land by paces, for vve read, vvhen David ſolemnly brought the Ark into Jeruſalem, vvhen he had gone ſix paces he offered oxen and fatlings.
      4. To set (two or more things) at regular distances from each other; to space, to space out.
        • 1715, Giacomo Leoni, “Of the Corinthian Order”, in Nicholas Du Bois, transl., The Architecture of A[ndrea] Palladio; [], London: [] John Watts, for the author, →OCLC, page 30:
          In the deſign of a Colonnade, or ſingle Columns, the Inter-columns are tvvo diameters, as in the Portico of St. Maria Rotunda at Rome; and this manner of diſtancing the Columns is, by Vitruvius, call'd Syſtylos.
  2. (intransitive, reflexive) Often followed by from.
    1. To set oneself at a distance from someone or something else; to move away from someone or something.
    2. (figurative) To keep oneself emotionally or socially apart from another person or people; to keep one's distance.
      • 1992, David S. Freeman, “The Major Systems Involved in the Family Therapy Process”, in Multigenerational Family Therapy, Binghamton, N.Y.; London: The Haworth Press, →ISBN, page 66:
        When a family member goes outside of the family to deal with a problem, he or she distances from the family. The family therapist offers the family the opportunity to deal with problems in a way that will allow them to deepen their connections with each other. The therapist will not be able to accomplish this goal if various family members go outside the family to resolve their problems.
      • 2021, Goran Arbanas, “Anxiety and Somatoform Disorders”, in Michal Lew-Starowicz, Annamaria Giraldi, Tillman H. C. Krüger, editors, Psychiatry and Sexual Medicine: A Comprehensive Guide for Clinical Practitioners, Cham, Zug, Switzerland: Springer Nature, →DOI, →ISBN, page 272:
        Also, due to irritability, tension, startle reactions, and feelings of no future love and enjoyment, the partners distance one from another and stop doing things together. [] The therapeutic relationship with PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] patients is very difficult at the beginning of the therapy as these patients will not allow the therapist "to come close to them"—for the same reason as they distance from their family members and partners (the therapist cannot understand them as she/he has not experienced the same thing they did and they are not good enough to be helped; they believe they destroy every person they come into contact with).

Conjugation

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Derived terms

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Translations

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References

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  1. ^ distaunce, n.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  2. ^ distance, n.”, in OED Online  , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2024; distance, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
  3. ^ distance, v.”, in OED Online  , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, July 2023; distance, v.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.

Further reading

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Anagrams

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Danish

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Etymology

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From French distance.

Pronunciation

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  • IPA(key): /distanɡsə/, [d̥iˈsd̥ɑŋsə]

Noun

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distance c (singular definite distancen, plural indefinite distancer)

  1. distance
  2. detachment

Declension

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Further reading

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Esperanto

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Etymology

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From distanco +‎ -e.

Pronunciation

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Adverb

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distance

  1. To or at a great distance.
    rigardi pentraĵon distance.

French

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Pronunciation

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Etymology 1

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From Middle French distance, from Old French destance, destaunce, distaunce (debate; difference, distinction; discord, quarrel; dispute; space between two points; time interval), borrowed from Latin distantia (difference, diversity; distance, remoteness; space between two points).

Noun

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distance f (plural distances)

  1. distance (literal physical distance)
    On se tient à distance de deux kilomètres l’un de l’autre.
    We stand at a distance of two kilometers from each other.
  2. distance (metaphoric or figurative)
    Il convient de la tenir à une certaine distance.
    It's suitable to maintain a certain distance.
    • 2014, Jean-Claude Bernardon, Résolution de conflits:
      Votre langage doit vous permettre de maintenir une bonne distance de sécurité, être un peu plus poli et détaché que nécessaire est un avantage.
      Your language must allow you to maintain a good safe distance, to be a little more polite and detached than necessary is an advantage.
Derived terms
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Descendants
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Etymology 2

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See the etymology of the corresponding lemma form.

Verb

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distance

  1. inflection of distancer:
    1. first/third-person singular present indicative/subjunctive
    2. second-person singular imperative

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Latvian

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Noun

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distance f (5 declension)

  1. distance
  2. interval
  3. railway division

Declension

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