—n. 1. the extent or amount of space between two things, points, lines, etc.
2. the state or fact of being apart in space, as of one thing from another; remoteness.
3. a linear extent of space: Seven miles is a distance too great to walk in an hour. 4. an expanse; area: A vast distance of water surrounded the ship. 5. the interval between two points of time; an extent of time: His vacation period was a good distance away. 6. remoteness or difference in any respect: Our philosophies are a long distance apart. 7. an amount of progress: We've come a long distance on the project. 8. a distant point, place, or region.
9. the distant part of a field of view: a tree in the distance. 10. absence of warmth; reserve: Their first meeting in several years was hampered by a certain distance between them. 11. Music.interval (def. 6).
12. See aesthetic distance. 13. Horse Racing.(in a heat race) the space measured back from the winning post that a horse must reach by the time the winner passes the winning post or be eliminated from subsequent heats.
14. Math.the greatest lower bound of differences between points, one from each of two given sets.
15. Obs.disagreement or dissension; a quarrel.
16. go the distance, a. (in horse racing) to be able to run well in a long race.
b. Informal.to finish or complete something, esp. something difficult, challenging, or requiring sustained effort.
17. keep at a distance, to treat coldly or in an unfriendly manner.
18. keep one's distance, to avoid becoming familiar or involved; remain cool or aloof.
—v.t. 1. to leave behind at a distance, as at a race; surpass.
2. to place at a distance.
3. to cause to appear distant.