a mile away

a mile away

Very easily. Always of something detected or observed. I can spot Paul from a mile away, just by the way he walks. After decades as an investigator, I can identify a con man a mile away.
See also: away, mile

miles away

If someone is miles away, they are completely unaware of what is happening or of what someone is saying, because they are thinking deeply about something else. Sorry, I was miles away. Could you repeat that? You didn't hear a word I said, did you? You were miles away.
See also: away, mile
References in classic literature ?
Not having found a likely spot, they held on for the opposite bank a mile away.
In a few minutes the far bank, a mile away, unobtrusively came into view, and ahead and behind, the whole frozen river could be seen, with off to the left a wide-extending range of sharp-cut, snow-covered mountains.
Typically, he is apprehended near the front door of the facility, but on more than one occasion he has been discovered nearly a mile away, having traversed the intersection of two dangerous roadways.