Learner's definition of DISTANT
1 [more distant; most distant] : existing or happening far away in space : separated by space
astronomers studying distant galaxies
They visited all sorts of distant [=far-off] places.
He finished the race a distant second. [=he was the second person to finish the race but he was far behind the winner]
The town is about 30 miles distant. [=(more commonly) away]
2 always used before a noun, [more distant; most distant] : far away in time : happening far in the past or far into the future
In the distant past, dinosaurs roamed the earth.
The day I left home is now a distant memory.
the distant future
We're expecting major changes in the not too distant future. [=soon]
3 always used before a noun, [more distant; most distant] — used to describe a relative who is not closely related to you 4 : having to do with something that is not related to what is happening where you are or at the present time
His mind drifted to distant thoughts.
I remember when the restaurant's opening was nothing more than a distant possibility.
She has a distant look in her eye. [=the look on her face shows that she is thinking about something that is not related to what is happening now]
5 [more distant; most distant], somewhat formal : not friendly or showing emotion 6 [more distant; most distant] : not like someone or something else — usually + from
the dim and distant pastchiefly British
: a time that is so far in the past it is difficult to remember