Definition for DIS'TANCE

DIS'TANCE, n. [Fr. distance; Sp. distancia; It. distanza; L. distantia, from disto, to stand apart; dis and sto, to stand.]

  1. An interval or space between two objects; the length of the shortest line which intervenes between two things that are separate; as, a great or small distance. Distance may be a line, an inch, a mile, or any indefinite length; as, the distance between the sun and Saturn.
  2. Preceded by at, remoteness of place. He waits at distance till he hears from Cato. – Addison.
  3. Preceded by thy, his, your, her, their, a suitable space, or such remoteness as is common or becoming; as, let him keep his distance; keep your distance. [See Note 8.]
  4. A space marked on the course where horses run. This horse ran the whole field out of distance. – L'Estrange.
  5. Space of time; any indefinite length of time, past or future, intervening between two periods or events; as, the distance of an hour, of a year, of an age.
  6. Ideal space or separation. Qualities that affect our senses are, in the things themselves, so united and blended, that there is no distance between them. – Locke.
  7. Contrariety; opposition. Banquo was your enemy, / So he is mine, and in such bloody distance. – Shak.
  8. The remoteness which respect requires; hence, respect. I hope your modesty / Will know what distance to the crown is due. – Dryden. 'Tis by respect and distance that authority is upheld. – Atterbury. [See No. 3.]
  9. Reserve; coldness; alienation of heart. On the part of heaven, / Now alienated, distance and distaste. – Milton.
  10. Remoteness in succession or relation; as, the distance between a descendant and his ancestor.
  11. In music, the interval between two notes; as, the distance of a fourth or seventh.

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