Meaning of DISTANCE in English


/ ˈdɪstəns; NAmE / noun , verb

■ noun


[ C , U ] 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


[ U ] being far away in space or in time :

Distance is no problem on the Internet.


[ sing. ] a point that is a particular amount of space away from sth else :

You'll never get the ball in from that distance.


[ C , usually sing. , U ] 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) .

( BrE )

Eddie is, by some distance (= by a great amount) , the funniest character in the show.


[ U , C ] a situation in which there is a lack of friendly feelings or of a close relationship between two people or groups of people :

The coldness and distance in her voice took me by surprise.


- at / from a distance

- go the (full) distance

- in / into the distance

- keep sb at a distance

- keep your distance (from sb/sth)

—more at shouting , spit verb , strike verb

■ verb

[ vn ] distance yourself / sb / sth (from sb/sth) to become, or to make sb/sth become, less involved or connected with sb/sth :

When he retired, he tried to distance himself from politics.

It's not always easy for nurses to distance themselves emotionally.



Middle English (in the sense discord, debate ): from Old French or from Latin distantia , from distant- standing apart, from the verb distare , from dis- apart + stare stand.

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.