To keep one's distance
Distance 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 place. [1913 Webster]

Every particle attracts every other with a force . . . inversely proportioned to the square of the distance. --Sir I. Newton. [1913 Webster]

2. Remoteness of place; a remote place. [1913 Webster]

Easily managed from a distance. --W. Irving. [1913 Webster]

'T is distance lends enchantment to the view. --T. Campbell. [1913 Webster]

[He] waits at distance till he hears from Cato. --Addison. [1913 Webster]

3. (Racing) A space marked out in the last part of a race course. [1913 Webster]

The horse that ran the whole field out of distance. --L'Estrange. [1913 Webster]

Note: 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. [1913 Webster]

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.'' --Farrow. [1913 Webster]

5. Space between two antagonists in fencing. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

6. (Painting) The part of a picture which contains the representation of those objects which are the farthest away, esp. in a landscape. [1913 Webster]

Note: 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 rays meet. [1913 Webster]

7. Ideal disjunction; discrepancy; contrariety. --Locke. [1913 Webster]

8. Length or interval of time; period, past or future, between two eras or events. [1913 Webster]

Ten years' distance between one and the other. --Prior. [1913 Webster]

The writings of Euclid at the distance of two thousand years. --Playfair. [1913 Webster]

9. The remoteness or reserve which respect requires; hence, respect; ceremoniousness. [1913 Webster]

I hope your modesty Will know what distance to the crown is due. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

'T is by respect and distance that authority is upheld. --Atterbury. [1913 Webster]

10. A withholding of intimacy; alienation; coldness; disagreement; variance; restraint; reserve. [1913 Webster]

Setting them [factions] at distance, or at least distrust amongst themselves. --Bacon. [1913 Webster]

On the part of Heaven, Now alienated, distance and distaste. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

11. Remoteness in succession or relation; as, the distance between a descendant and his ancestor. [1913 Webster]

12. (Mus.) The interval between two notes; as, the distance of a fourth or seventh. [1913 Webster]

{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. [1913 Webster]

If a man makes me keep my distance, the comfort is he keeps his at the same time. --Swift. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • keep one's distance — verb stay clear of, avoid Keep your hands off my wife! Keep your distance from this man he is dangerous • Syn: ↑stand back, ↑keep one s eyes off, ↑keep one s hands off, ↑stay away • Hypernyms: ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • keep one's distance — {v. phr.} To be cool toward someone; avoid being friendly. * /Mary did not like her co worker, Betty, and kept her distance from her./ Compare: KEEP ONE AT A DISTANCE …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • keep one's distance — {v. phr.} To be cool toward someone; avoid being friendly. * /Mary did not like her co worker, Betty, and kept her distance from her./ Compare: KEEP ONE AT A DISTANCE …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • keep\ one's\ distance — v. phr. To be cool toward someone; avoid being friendly. Mary did not like her co worker, Betty, and kept her distance from her. Compare: keep one at a distance …   Словарь американских идиом

  • keep one's distance — or keep at a distance phrasal to stay aloof ; maintain a reserved attitude …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • To hold one's day — Hold Hold, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Held}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Holding}. {Holden}, p. p., is obs. in elegant writing, though still used in legal language.] [OE. haldan, D. houden, OHG. hoten, Icel. halda, Dan. holde, Sw. h[*a]lla, Goth. haldan to feed,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To hold one's own — Hold Hold, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Held}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Holding}. {Holden}, p. p., is obs. in elegant writing, though still used in legal language.] [OE. haldan, D. houden, OHG. hoten, Icel. halda, Dan. holde, Sw. h[*a]lla, Goth. haldan to feed,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To hold one's peace — Hold Hold, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Held}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Holding}. {Holden}, p. p., is obs. in elegant writing, though still used in legal language.] [OE. haldan, D. houden, OHG. hoten, Icel. halda, Dan. holde, Sw. h[*a]lla, Goth. haldan to feed,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To come one's way — Way Way, n. [OE. wey, way, AS. weg; akin to OS., D., OHG., & G. weg, Icel. vegr, Sw. v[ a]g, Dan. vei, Goth. wigs, L. via, and AS. wegan to move, L. vehere to carry, Skr. vah. [root]136. Cf. {Convex}, {Inveigh}, {Vehicle}, {Vex}, {Via}, {Voyage} …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To come one's way — Way Way, n. [OE. wey, way, AS. weg; akin to OS., D., OHG., & G. weg, Icel. vegr, Sw. v[ a]g, Dan. vei, Goth. wigs, L. via, and AS. wegan to move, L. vehere to carry, Skr. vah. [root]136. Cf. {Convex}, {Inveigh}, {Vehicle}, {Vex}, {Via}, {Voyage} …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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