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DIS'THENE, n. [Gr. δις, two, and σθενος, force.]

A mineral so called by Haüy, because its crystals have the property of being electrified both positively and negatively. It is the sappare of Saussure, and the kyanite of Werner. – Lunier. Cleaveland.


To dethrone. [Not used.] – Spenser.

DIS-TICH', n. [L. distichon; Gr. δις and ςιχος, a verse.]

A couplet; a couple of verses or poetic lines, making complete sense; an epigram of two verses. – Johnson. Encyc.


Having two rows, or disposed in two rows. – Lee. A distichous spike has all the flowers pointing two ways. – Martyn.

DIS-TILL', v.i. [L. distillo; dis and stillo, to drop; stilla, a drop; Fr. distiller; It. distillare; Sp. destilar; Gr. ςαλαω.]

  1. To drop; to fall in drops. Soft showers distill'd, and suns grew warm in vain. – Pope.
  2. To flow gently, or in a small stream. The Euphrates distilleth out of the mountains of Armenia. – Ralegh.
  3. To use a still; to practice distillation. – Shak.

DIS-TILL', v.t.

  1. To let fall in drops; to throw down in drops. The clouds distill water on the earth. The dew which on the tender grass / The evening had distilled. – Drayton.
  2. To extract by heat; to separate spirit or essential oils from liquor by heat or evaporation, and convert that vapor into a liquid by condensation in a refrigeratory; to separate the volatile parts of a substance by heat; to rectify; as, to distill brandy from wine, or spirit from melasses.
  3. To extract spirit from, by evaporation and condensation; as, to distill cider or melasses; to distill wine.
  4. To extract the pure part of a fluid; as, to distill water.
  5. To dissolve or melt. [Unusual.] Swords by the lightning's subtle force distilled. – Addison.


That may be distilled; fit for distillation. – Sherwood.


  1. The act of falling in drops, or the act of pouring or throwing down in drops.
  2. The vaporization and subsequent condensation of a liquid by means of an alembic, or still and refrigeratory, or of a retort and receiver; the operation of extracting spirit from a substance by evaporation and condensation; rectification.
  3. The substance extracted by distilling. – Shak.
  4. That which falls in drops. – Johnson.


Belonging to distillation; used for distilling; as distillatory vessels. – Hooper.


Let fall or thrown down in drops; subjected to the process of distillation; extracted by evaporation.


One who distills; one whose occupation is to extract spirit by evaporation and condensation.


  1. The act or art of distilling.
  2. The building and works where distilling is carried on.


Dropping; letting fall in drops; extracting by distillation.


That which is drawn by distillation. – Shak.

DIS-TINCT', a. [L. distinctus, from distinguo. See Distinguish.]

  1. Literally, having the difference marked; separated by a visible sign, or by a note or mark; as, a place distinct by name. – Milton.
  2. Different; separate; not the same in number or kind; as, he holds two distinct offices; he is known by distinct titles.
  3. Separate in place; not conjunct; as, the two regiments marched together, but had distinct encampments.
  4. So separated as not to be confounded with any other thing; clear; not confused. To reason correctly we must have distinct ideas. We have a distinct or indistinct view of a prospect.
  5. Spotted; variegated. Tempestuous fell / His arrows from the fourfold-visag'd four, / Distinct with eyes. – Milton.

DIS-TINCT', v.t.

To distinguish. [Not in use.] – Chaucer.

DIS-TINC'TION, n. [L. distinctio.]

  1. The act of separating or distinguishing.
  2. A note or mark of difference. [Seldom used.]
  3. Difference made; a separation or disagreement in kind or qualities, by which one thing is known from another. We observe a distinction between matter and spirit; a distinction between the animal and vegetable kingdoms; a distinction between good and evil, right and wrong; between sound reasoning and sophistry.
  4. Difference regarded; separation; preference; as in the phrase, without distinction, which denotes promiscuously, all together, alike. Maids, women, wives, without distinction fall. – Dryden.
  5. Separation; division; as, the distinction of tragedy into acts. – Dryden. [In this sense, division would be preferable.]
  6. Notation of difference; discrimination; as, a distinction between real and apparent good. In classing the qualities of actions, it is necessary to make accurate distinctions. – Anon.
  7. Eminence; superiority; elevation of rank in society, or elevation of character; honorable estimation. Men who hold a high rank by birth or office, and men who are eminent for their talents, services, or worth, are called men of distinction, as being raised above others by positive institutions, or by reputation. So we say, a man of note.
  8. That which confers eminence or superiority; office, rank, or public favor.
  9. Discernment; judgment. – Johnson.


  1. That marks distinction or difference; as, distinctive names or titles.
  2. Having the power to distinguish and discern. [Less proper.] – Brown.


With distinction; plainly.


  1. Separately; with distinctness; not confusedly; without the blending of one part or thing with another; as, a proposition distinctly understood; a figure distinctly defined. Hence,
  2. Clearly; plainly; as, to view an object distinctly.


  1. The quality or state of being distinct; a separation or difference that prevents confusion of parts or things; as, the distinctness of two ideas, or of distant objects.
  2. Nice discrimination; whence, clearness; precision; as, he stated his arguments with great distinctness.


To make a distinction; to find or show the difference. It is the province of a judge to distinguish between cases apparently similar, but differing in principle.

DIS-TIN'GUISH, v.t. [L. distinguo; dis and stingo, or stinguo, n not radical. This seems to Gr. ςιζω, ςιξω, for the second future is ςιγω and the derivatives prove the primary elements to be stg, as in ςιγευς, ςιγμα, ςικτος. Hence also L. stigo, whence instigo, to instigate. The primary sense is, to prick, to pierce with a sharp point, to thrust in or on; and we retain the precise word in the verb, to stick, which see. The practice of making marks by puncturing, or sticking, gave rise to the applications of this word, as such marks were used to note and ascertain different things, to distinguish them. See Extinguish, and Class Dg, No. 31.]

  1. To ascertain and indicate difference by some external mark. The farmer distinguishes his sheep by marking their ears. The manufacturer distinguishes pieces of cloth by some mark or impression.
  2. To separate one thing from another by some mark or quality; to know or ascertain difference. First, by sight; as, to distinguish one's own children from others by their features. Secondly, by feeling. A blind man distinguishes an egg from an orange, but rarely distinguishes colors. Thirdly, by smell; as, it is easy to distinguish the smell of a peach from that of an apple. Fourthly, by taste; as, to distinguish a plum from a pear. Fifthly, by hearing; as, to distinguish the sound of a drum from that of a violin. Sixthly, by the understanding; as, to distinguish vice from virtue, truth from falsehood.
  3. To separate or divide by any mark or quality which constitutes difference. We distinguish sounds into high and low, soft and harsh, lively and grave. We distinguish causes into direct and indirect, immediate and mediate.
  4. To discern critically; to judge. Nor more can you distinguish of a man, / Than of his outward show. – Shak.
  5. To separate from others by some mark of honor or presence. Homer and Virgil are distinguished as poets; Demosthenes and Cicero, as orators.
  6. To make eminent or known. – Johnson.


  1. Capable of being distinguished; that may be separated, known or made known by notes of diversity, or by any difference. A tree at a distance is distinguishable from a shrub. A simple idea is not distinguishable into different ideas.
  2. Worthy of note or special regard. – Swift.


  1. Separated or known by a mark of difference, or by different qualities.
  2. adj. Separated from others by superior or extraordinary qualities; whence, eminent; extraordinary; transcendent; noted; famous; celebrated. Thus, we admire distinguished men, distinguished talents or virtues, and distinguished services.