Dis"tance (?), n. [F. distance,
L. distantia.] 1. The space between two
objects; the length of a line, especially the shortest line joining
two points or things that are separate; measure of separation in
Every particle attracts every other with a force . . .
inversely proportioned to the square of the
distance. Sir I. Newton.
2. Remoteness of place; a remote
Easily managed from a distance.
'T is distance lends enchantment to the
view. T. Campbell.
[He] waits at distance till he hears from
3. (Racing) A space marked out in the
last part of a race course.
The horse that ran the whole field out of
☞ In trotting matches under the rules of the American
Association, the distance varies with the conditions of the
race, being 80 yards in races of mile heats, best two in three, and
150 yards in races of two-mile heats. At that distance from the
winning post is placed the distance post. If any horse has not
reached this distance post before the first horse in that heat has
reached the winning post, such horse is distanced, and
disqualified for running again during that race.
4. (Mil.) Relative space, between
troops in ranks, measured from front to rear; -- contrasted with
interval, which is measured from right to left.
"Distance between companies in close column is twelve yards."
5. Space between two antagonists in
6. (Painting) The part of a picture
which contains the representation of those objects which are the
farthest away, esp. in a landscape.
☞ In a picture, the Middle distance is the
central portion between the foreground and the distance
or the extreme distance. In a perspective drawing, the
Point of distance is the point where the visual
7. Ideal disjunction; discrepancy;
8. Length or interval of time; period, past
or future, between two eras or events.
Ten years' distance between one and the
The writings of Euclid at the distance of two
thousand years. Playfair.
9. The remoteness or reserve which respect
requires; hence, respect; ceremoniousness.
I hope your modesty
Will know what distance to the crown is due.
'T is by respect and distance that authority is
10. A withholding of intimacy; alienation;
coldness; disagreement; variance; restraint; reserve.
Setting them [factions] at distance, or at
least distrust amongst themselves. Bacon.
On the part of Heaven,
Now alienated, distance and distaste.
11. Remoteness in succession or relation; as,
the distance between a descendant and his ancestor.
12. (Mus.) The interval between two
notes; as, the distance of a fourth or seventh.
Angular distance, the distance made at the
eye by lines drawn from the eye to two objects. -- Lunar
distance. See under Lunar. -- North
polar distance (Astron.), the distance on the
heavens of a heavenly body from the north pole. It is the complement
of the declination. -- Zenith distance
(Astron.), the arc on the heavens from a heavenly body to
the zenith of the observer. It is the complement of the
altitude. -- To keep one's distance, to
stand aloof; to refrain from familiarity.
If a man makes me keep my distance, the comfort
is he keeps his at the same time. Swift.