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Related to distinctive: distinctive capabilities


1. Serving to identify; distinguishing or characteristic: the distinctive call of the hermit thrush. See Usage Note at distinct.
2. Distinguished or attractive: "Her forefinger tracked the cleft in his chin, and she thought how distinctive it made him look" (Joan Johnston).
3. Linguistics Phonemically relevant and capable of conveying a difference in meaning, as nasalization in the initial sound of mat versus bat.

dis·tinc′tive·ly adv.
dis·tinc′tive·ness n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. serving or tending to distinguish
2. (Phonetics & Phonology) denoting one of a set of minimal features of a phoneme in a given language that serve to distinguish it from other phonemes. The distinctive features of /p/ in English are that it is voiceless, bilabial, non-nasal, and plosive; /b/ is voiced, bilabial, non-nasal, and plosive: the two differ by the distinctive feature of voice
disˈtinctively adv
disˈtinctiveness n
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(dɪˈstɪŋk tɪv)

1. serving to distinguish; characteristic; distinguishing: the zebra's distinctive stripes.
2. having a special quality, style, attractiveness, etc.; notable.
3. Ling. serving to distinguish meanings.
[1575–85; < Medieval Latin]
dis•tinc′tive•ly, adv.
dis•tinc′tive•ness, n.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. 'distinct'

If one thing is distinct from another, there is an important difference between them.

Our interests were quite distinct from those of the workers.
...a tree related to but quite distinct from the European beech.

You describe something as distinct when it is clear and definite.

I have the distinct feeling that my friend did not realize what was happening.
A distinct improvement had come about in their social outlook.
2. 'distinctive'

You use distinctive to describe things which have a special quality that makes them easy to recognize.

Irene had a very distinctive voice.
3. 'distinguished'

A distinguished person is very successful, famous, or important.

His grandfather had been a distinguished professor at the University.
Now, clean and tidily dressed, we stood watching the first distinguished visitors come trickling in.
Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.distinctive - of a feature that helps to distinguish a person or thingdistinctive - of a feature that helps to distinguish a person or thing; "Jerusalem has a distinctive Middle East flavor"- Curtis Wilkie; "that is typical of you!"
characteristic - typical or distinctive; "heard my friend's characteristic laugh"; "red and gold are the characteristic colors of autumn"; "stripes characteristic of the zebra"
2.distinctive - capable of being classified
identifiable - capable of being identified
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


Serving to identify or set apart an individual or group:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
sérstakur, sérkennandi
belirginkarakteristikkendine özgü
dễ phân biệt


[dɪsˈtɪŋktɪv] ADJ [sound, colour] → característico; [flavour, smell, voice] → inconfundible, característico; [plumage, fur] → distintivo, característico; [style] → característico, particular; [clothing, decor] → peculiar, particular
one of the distinctive features of Elizabethan architectureuno de los rasgos característicos de la arquitectura isabelina
stone walls are a distinctive feature of the countrysidelos muros de piedra son característicos del campo
what was most distinctive about him was his extreme nervousnesslo que más le caracterizaba era su extremo nerviosismo
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[dɪˈstɪŋktɪv] adj [style, feature, character] → distinctif/ive; [voice] → distinctif/ive; [taste, smell] → caractéristique
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


adj style, flavour, smell, gesture, walk etcunverwechselbar, unverkennbar; feature, patternunverkennbar; soundtypisch, unverkennbar; voice, dress (= characteristic)charakteristisch; (= unmistakable)unverwechselbar; (= striking) colour, plumageauffällig; distinctive features (of person)besondere Kennzeichen; she had a very distinctive voicesie hatte eine ganz unverwechselbare or besondere Stimme; with his distinctive ironymit der ihm eigenen or für ihn charakteristischen Ironie; there’s something distinctive about theman ihnen ist etwas Besonderes; distinctive to somebody/somethingcharakteristisch für jdn/etw
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[dɪsˈtɪŋktɪv] adjtutto/a particolare
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(diˈstiŋkt) adjective
1. easily seen, heard or noticed. There are distinct differences between the two; Her voice is very distinct.
2. separate or different. Those two birds are quite distinct – you couldn't confuse them.
diˈstinctly adverb
He pronounces his words very distinctly; I distinctly heard him tell you to wait!
diˈstinctness noun
diˈstinction (-ʃən) noun
1. (the making of) a difference. He makes no distinction between male and female employees with regard to pay.
2. a grade awarded that indicates outstanding ability or achievement. She passed her exams with distinction.
diˈstinctive (-tiv) adjective
different and easily identified. I recognized her from a long way off – she has a very distinctive walk!
diˈstinctively adverb
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


مـُمَيِّز výrazný særegen kennzeichnend χαρακτηριστικός peculiar omaleimainen distinctif osebujan caratteristico 特徴的な 독특한 onderscheidend særegen wyróżniający distinto характерный särskiljande เด่น belirgin dễ phân biệt 有特色的
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009
References in classic literature ?
Yet it remains true that Hesiod's distinctive title to a high place in Greek literature lies in the very fact of his freedom form classic form, and his grave, and yet child-like, outlook upon his world.
They differ by the fact that the images that constitute memories, unlike those that constitute imagination, are accompanied by a feeling of belief which may be expressed in the words "this happened." The mere occurrence of images, without this feeling of belief, constitutes imagination; it is the element of belief that is the distinctive thing in memory.*
The most distinctive mark of substance appears to be that, while remaining numerically one and the same, it is capable of admitting contrary qualities.
Hunsden, that patrician descent may be read in a distinctive cast of form and features?"
Again, Tragedy is the imitation of an action; and an action implies personal agents, who necessarily possess certain distinctive qualities both of character and thought; for it is by these that we qualify actions themselves, and these--thought and character--are the two natural causes from which actions spring, and on actions again all success or failure depends.
We are fond of ours, but there is nothing distinctive about it.
Four days were spent in thinking what name to give him, because (as he said to himself) it was not right that a horse belonging to a knight so famous, and one with such merits of his own, should be without some distinctive name, and he strove to adapt it so as to indicate what he had been before belonging to a knight-errant, and what he then was; for it was only reasonable that, his master taking a new character, he should take a new name, and that it should be a distinguished and full-sounding one, befitting the new order and calling he was about to follow.
Po Chu-i has his own distinctive feeling for romance, Tu Fu his minute literary craftsmanship, Ssu-K`ung T`u the delicate aroma of suggestive mysticism; but Li Po is many-sided, and has perhaps more of the world-spirit than all of them.
This vast range has acquired, from its rugged and broken character and its summits of naked granite, the appellation of the Rocky Mountains, a name by no means distinctive, as all elevated ranges are rocky.
He had an intellectual and distinctive head, but the instant he turned to Prince Andrew the firm, intelligent expression on his face changed in a way evidently deliberate and habitual to him.
The reading of 'Don Quixote' went on throughout my boyhood, so that I cannot recall any distinctive period of it when I was not, more or less, reading that book.
Their sensitive nostrils had told them this much and Tarzan's had told him that the scent spoor was that of a stranger--old and a male, for race and sex and age each has its own distinctive scent.

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