What does distance mean?

Definitions for distance
ˈdɪs tənsdis·tance

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word distance.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. distancenoun

    the property created by the space between two objects or points

  2. distancenoun

    a distant region

    "I could see it in the distance"

  3. distance, lengthnoun

    size of the gap between two places

    "the distance from New York to Chicago"; "he determined the length of the shortest line segment joining the two points"

  4. distance, aloofnessnoun

    indifference by personal withdrawal

    "emotional distance"

  5. distance, spacenoun

    the interval between two times

    "the distance from birth to death"; "it all happened in the space of 10 minutes"

  6. distanceverb

    a remote point in time

    "if that happens it will be at some distance in the future"; "at a distance of ten years he had forgotten many of the details"

  7. distanceverb

    keep at a distance

    "we have to distance ourselves from these events in order to continue living"

  8. outdistance, outstrip, distanceverb

    go far ahead of

    "He outdistanced the other runners"


  1. distancenoun

    The amount of space between two points, usually geographical points, usually (but not necessarily) measured along a straight line.

  2. distancenoun

    The entire amount of space to the objective.

    He had promised to perform this task, but did not go the distance.

  3. distancenoun

    A considerable amount of space.

    The friendship did not survive the row: they kept each other at a distance.

  4. distanceverb

    To move away (from) someone or something.

    He distanced himself from the comments made by some of his colleagues.

  5. distanceverb

    To leave at a distance; to outpace, leave behind.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. DISTANCEnoun

    1.Distance is space considered barely in length between any two beings, without considering any thing else between them. John Locke

    Etymology: distance, French; distantia, Latin.

    It is very cheap, notwithstanding the great distance between the vineyards and the towns that sell the wine. Joseph Addison, on Italy.

    As he lived but a few miles distance from her father’s house, he had frequent opportunities of seeing her. Addison.

    Cæsar is still disposed to give us terms,
    And waits at distance ’till he hears from Cato. Joseph Addison, Cato.

    These dwell at such convenient distance,
    That each may give his friend assistance. Matthew Prior.

    We come to see fight; to see thy pass, thy stock, thy reverse, thy distance. William Shakespeare, Merry Wives of Windsor.

    Banquo was your enemy,
    So is he mine; and in such bloody distance,
    That every minute of his being thrusts
    Against my near’st of life. William Shakespeare, Macbeth.

    This was the horse that ran the whole field out of distance, and won the race. Roger L'Estrange.

    You must do it by distance of time. 2 Esdr. v. 47.

    I help my preface by a prescript, to tell that there is ten years distance between one and the other. Matthew Prior.

    We have as much assurance of these things, as things future and at a distance are capable of. John Tillotson, Sermons.

    To judge right of blessings prayed for, and yet at a distance, we must be able to know things future. George Smalridge, Sermons.

    The qualities that affect our senses are, in the things themselves, so united and blended, that there is no separation, no distance between them. John Locke.

    I hope your modesty
    Will know, what distance to the crown is due. Dryden.

    ’Tis by respect and distance that authority is upheld. Francis Atterbury.

    If a man makes me keep my distance, the comfort is, he keeps his at the same time. Jonathan Swift.

    On the part of heav’n,
    Now alienated! distance and distaste,
    Anger, and just rebuke, and judgment giv’n. John Milton, P. Lost.

  2. To Distanceverb

    Etymology: from the noun.

    That which gives a relievo to a bowl is the quick light, or white which appears to be on the side nearest to us, and the black by consequence distances the object. John Dryden, Dufresnoy.

    Each daring lover, with advent’rous pace,
    Pursu’d his wishes in the dang’rous race;
    Like the swift hind the bounding damsel flies,
    Strains to the goal, the distanc’d lover dies. John Gay, Fan.


  1. Distance

    Distance is a song by American singer-songwriter Christina Perri. The new version of the track featuring Jason Mraz is the third official single taken from the deluxe version of her debut studio album Lovestrong (2011) released on March 20, 2012. It was written by Perri and co-written and produced by David Hodges. It is a midtempo ballad about "loving someone at the wrong time in your life" and "being around that one whom your heart longs for without being able to show your true feelings". The song received generally favorable reviews from music critics, with most praising their "emotional vulnerability and engagement" and their chemistry. The original version of the song is the official theme for the ABC TV series "Revenge" whose music video was released April 12, 2012. The official music video featuring Mraz was released on June 30, 2012. It has reached number 20 on the Adult Pop Songs chart.


  1. distance

    Distance refers to the measurement or extent of physical space between two points, objects, or locations. It is typically expressed in units such as meters, kilometers, miles, or other suitable units of measurement. Distance is a fundamental concept in mathematics, physics, and everyday life, used to quantify the separation or length between things.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Distancenoun

    the space between two objects; the length of a line, especially the shortest line joining two points or things that are separate; measure of separation in place

  2. Distancenoun

    remoteness of place; a remote place

  3. Distancenoun

    a space marked out in the last part of a race course

  4. Distancenoun

    relative space, between troops in ranks, measured from front to rear; -- contrasted with interval, which is measured from right to left

  5. Distancenoun

    space between two antagonists in fencing

  6. Distancenoun

    the part of a picture which contains the representation of those objects which are the farthest away, esp. in a landscape

  7. Distancenoun

    ideal disjunction; discrepancy; contrariety

  8. Distancenoun

    length or interval of time; period, past or future, between two eras or events

  9. Distancenoun

    the remoteness or reserve which respect requires; hence, respect; ceremoniousness

  10. Distancenoun

    a withholding of intimacy; alienation; coldness; disagreement; variance; restraint; reserve

  11. Distancenoun

    remoteness in succession or relation; as, the distance between a descendant and his ancestor

  12. Distancenoun

    the interval between two notes; as, the distance of a fourth or seventh

  13. Distanceverb

    to place at a distance or remotely

  14. Distanceverb

    to cause to appear as if at a distance; to make seem remote

  15. Distanceverb

    to outstrip by as much as a distance (see Distance, n., 3); to leave far behind; to surpass greatly

  16. Etymology: [F. distance, L. distantia.]


  1. Distance

    Distance is a numerical description of how far apart objects are. In physics or everyday discussion, distance may refer to a physical length, or an estimation based on other criteria. In mathematics, a distance function or metric is a generalization of the concept of physical distance. A metric is a function that behaves according to a specific set of rules, and is a concrete way of describing what it means for elements of some space to be "close to" or "far away from" each other. In most cases, "distance from A to B" is interchangeable with "distance between B and A".

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Distance

    dis′tans, n. a space or interval between: remoteness: opposition: reserve of manner: in horse-racing, the space measured back from the winning-post which a horse, in heat-races, must reach when the winner has covered the whole course, in order to run in the final heat.—v.t. to place at a distance: to leave at a distance behind.—adj. Dis′tanceless, not allowing a distant view—said of hazy weather: having no indications of distance—said of certain pictures.—Keep one at a distance, to treat with reserve; Keep one's distance, to abstain from familiarity with, to keep aloof from. [See Distant.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. distance

    The run which a ship has made upon the log-board. In speaking of double stars, it is the space separating the centres of the two stars, expressed in seconds of arc. (See LUNAR DISTANCES.)

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. distance

    In military formation, signifies the relative space which is left between men standing under arms in rank, or the interval which appears between those ranks.

Suggested Resources

  1. distance

    Song lyrics by distance -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by distance on the Lyrics.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Distance is ranked #149395 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Distance surname appeared 110 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Distance.

    89% or 98 total occurrences were Black.
    6.3% or 7 total occurrences were White.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'distance' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #1591

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'distance' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1751

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'distance' in Nouns Frequency: #621

How to pronounce distance?

How to say distance in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of distance in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of distance in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of distance in a Sentence

  1. Ronald Reagan:

    The distance between the present system and our proposal is like comparing the distance between a Model T and the space shuttle. And I should know I've seen both.

  2. Hal Borland:

    There are no limits to either time or distance, except as man himself may make them. I have but to touch the wind to know these things.

  3. Morris Chang:

    The distance between us will be about the same in 5-10 years. If I wanted to brag, I'd say the distance will be longer.

  4. Hunter S. Thompson:

    There is a progression of understanding vis-?-vis pro football that varies drastically with the factor of distance -- physical, emotional, intellectual and every other way. Which is exactly the way it should be, in the eyes of the amazingly small number of people who own and control the game, because it is this finely managed distance factor that accounts for the high-profit mystique that blew the sacred institution of baseball off its national pastime pedestal in less than fifteen years.

  5. Benjamin Wilks:

    The BolderBoulder, for us, was a great way to showcase the service we provide, not necessarily to say it’s our target market, a 10K isn’t the distance where you’d need our service. Treatments are ideal for marathon runners, Ironman triathletes, long distance cycling, running or adventure races.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for distance

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"distance." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 8 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/distance>.

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    difficult to describe
    • A. butch
    • B. incumbent
    • C. elusive
    • D. eminent

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