distinctive


distinctive
distinct, distinctive
1. Both words are related to the verb distinguish, but distinct means essentially ‘separate, different’ (The word has several distinct meanings) or ‘unmistakable, decided’ (She has a distinct impression of being watched), and is closer to distinguishable, whereas distinctive means ‘characteristic, identifying’ (The bird has distinctive black and white wing markings) and is closer to distinguishing. Distinct is often followed by from (Holiness is distinct from goodness), and this construction is common in the prepositional phrase as distinct from.
2. Examples of both words: (distinct)

• Scrambling, as distinct from fell walking and rock climbing, is a Cinderella of a sport —Guardian Weekly, 1978

• It was a comparatively shabby office…Euram Marketing gave a distinct impression of watching the pennies —G. Markstein, 1981

• Software designers have used two distinct methods in their attempt to provide the perfect package —Micro Software Magazine, 1982

• I can still hear her distinct, rather emphatic, very self-assured speech —R. Cobb, 1983

• (distinctive) Everyone who knew the Temple School will remember the distinctive smell of Freddie's office —Penelope Fitzgerald, 1982

• Her main ‘discovery’…was the distinctive way in which Marx had challenged all previous political traditions —D. May, 1986

• We currently have a number of distinctive looking dogs in kennels that have not been reported missing —Cornishman, 2007.


Modern English usage. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • distinctive — I adjective characteristic, conspicuous, contrasting, diacritical, different, differentiating, differentiative, differing, discriminating, distinct, distinguishing, exclusive, idiomatic, idiosyncratic, indicating difference, indicative,… …   Law dictionary

  • Distinctive — Dis*tinc tive, a. [Cf. F. distinctif.] 1. Marking or expressing distinction or difference; distinguishing; characteristic; peculiar. [1913 Webster] The distinctive character and institutions of New England. Bancroft. [1913 Webster] 2. Having the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • distinctive — early 15c., from O.Fr. distinctif and directly from M.L. distinctivus, from L. distinct , pp. of distinguere (see DISTINGUISH (Cf. distinguish)). Meaning markedly individual is from 1580s. Related: Distinctively; distinctiveness …   Etymology dictionary

  • distinctive — peculiar, individual, *characteristic Analogous words: *special, particular, specific, especial: unique, particular, separate, *single: *distinct, separate, several, discrete Antonyms: typical Contrasted words: * …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • distinctive — [adj] different, unique characteristic, cool, diacritic, diagnostic, discrete, distinguishing, excellent, extraordinary, far cry, gnarly*, idiosyncratic, individual, like night and day*, offbeat, original, outstanding, peculiar, perfect, poles… …   New thesaurus

  • distinctive — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ individually characteristic; distinct from others of its kind. DERIVATIVES distinctively adverb distinctiveness noun …   English terms dictionary

  • distinctive — [di stiŋk′tiv] adj. [ME < ML distinctivus] making distinct; distinguishing from others; characteristic SYN. CHARACTERISTIC distinctively adv. distinctiveness n …   English World dictionary

  • distinctive — ● distinctif, distinctive adjectif Qui permet de reconnaître, de distinguer ; spécifique, typique : Un signe distinctif. ● distinctif, distinctive (expressions) adjectif Fonction distinctive, fonction de différenciation des unités significatives… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • distinctive — [[t]dɪstɪ̱ŋktɪv[/t]] ADJ GRADED Something that is distinctive has a special quality or feature which makes it easily recognizable and different from other things of the same type. ...the distinctive odour of chlorine. ...a distinctive blue and… …   English dictionary

  • distinctive — dis|tinc|tive [ dı stıŋktıv ] adjective ** easy to recognize because of being different from other people or things of the same type: INDIVIDUAL: a smooth, rich coffee with a distinctive flavor a distinctive feature: Good visuals and diagrams are …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English