American English

Definition of distant adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1far away in space or time the distant sound of music distant stars/planets The time we spent together is now a distant memory. (formal) The airport was about 20 miles distant. a star 30,000 light years distant from the Earth (figurative) Peace was just a distant hope (= not very likely).
  2. 2distant (from something) not like something else synonym remote Their life seemed utterly distant from his own.
  3. 3[only before noun] (of a person) related to you but not closely a distant cousin/aunt/relative
  4. 4not friendly; not wanting a close relationship with someone Pat sounded very cold and distant on the phone. He became emotionally distant from his friends and family after the illness.
  5. 5not paying attention to something but thinking about something completely different There was a distant look in her eyes; her mind was obviously on something else.
  6. Idioms
    the (dim and) distant past
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    a long time ago stories from the distant past In the distant past this land was covered in forests.
    in the not too distant future
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    not a long time in the future but fairly soon I hope we'll see each other again in the not too distant future.
adverb Somewhere, distantly, he could hear the sound of the ocean. We're distantly related. Holly smiled distantly.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: distant