- 1 [countable, uncountable] the amount of space between two places or things a short/long distance the distance of the earth from the sun a distance of 200 kilometres What’s the distance between New York City and Boston/from New York City to Boston? In the US, distance is measured in miles. The beach is within walking distance of my house (= you can walk there easily). Paul has to drive very long distances as part of his job. Our parents live some distance away (= quite far away). see also long-distance, middle distance, outdistance
- 2 [uncountable] being far away in space or in time Distance is no problem on the Internet.
- 3 [singular] a point that is a particular amount of space away from something else You'll never get the ball in from that distance.
- 4[countable, usually singular, uncountable] a difference or lack of a connection between two things The distance between fashion and art remains as great as ever. The government is keen to put some distance between itself and these events (= show that there is no connection between them). (British English) Eddie is, by some distance (= by a great amount), the funniest character in the show.
- 5[uncountable, countable] a situation in which there is a lack of friendly feelings or of a close relationship between two people or groups of people There was a growing distance between the two sides of the family. The coldness and distance in her voice took me by surprise. Word Origin Middle English (in the sense ‘discord, debate’): from Old French or from Latin distantia, from distant-
- 1to make sure you are not too near somebody/something
- 2to avoid getting too friendly or involved with a person, group, etc. She was warned to keep her distance from Charles if she didn't want to get hurt.
(informal) very close
(informal) very close We live within spitting distance of the bus station. near enough to be reached or attacked easily; near enough to reach or attack something easily The beach is within striking distance. The cat was now within striking distance of the duck.