distance


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distance (oneself) from (someone or something)

To limit engagement or association (or the appearance thereof) between oneself and someone or something. Politicians have been quick to distance themselves from the senator ever since news of her drug scandal broke. The company, trying to build up its environmentally-friendly image, has been distancing itself from its past connections to the oil industry.
See also: distance

striking distance

Close proximity or a short distance, as to or away from some desired thing, person, goal, or objective. Used especially in the phrase "in/within striking distance." A World Cup victory was within striking distance for Germany, but a last penalty kick robbed them of their prize. My grandmother's house is rather old and a bit spooky, but as it is in striking distance of the sea, it was always a favorite summer destination when we were kids.
See also: distance, striking

in striking distance (of someone or something)

In close proximity to or a short distance away from some desired thing, person, goal, or objective. A World Cup victory was in striking distance for Germany, but a last penalty kick robbed them of their prize. My grandmother's house is rather old and a bit spooky, but as it is in striking distance of the sea, it was always a favorite summer destination when we were kids.
See also: distance, striking

stay the distance

1. To persevere with as much determination, energy, or fortitude as one can muster through to the end of a race, competition, or contest. Despite an early setback in the first half, the American team stayed the distance and managed to earn a draw at the end of the match.
2. To continue attempting or pursuing something difficult to its end or conclusion. If you can't stay the distance when things get a bit messy, then you just aren't cut out for this line of work.
See also: distance, stay

Distance lends enchantment (to the view).

Prov. Things that are far away from you appear better than they really are. Jill: High school was the happiest time of my life. Jane: But that was fifteen years ago. I think distance lends enchantment to the view.
See also: distance, lend

go the distance

Fig. to do the whole amount; to play the entire game; to run the whole race. (Originally sports use.) That horse runs fast. I hope it can go the distance. This is going to be a long, hard project. I hope I can go the distance.
See also: distance

keep one's distance (from someone or something)

Fig. to maintain a respectful or cautious distance from someone or something. Keep your distance from John. He's in a bad mood. Keep your distance from the fire.
See also: distance, keep

keep someone or something at a distance

to retain some amount of physical distance from someone or something. Please try to keep Tom at a distance. He just gets in the way. I wanted to keep the smelly plant at a distance.
See also: distance, keep

put some distance between (someone and oneself or something)

to move or travel away from someone or something. Jill and I aren't getting along. I need to put some distance between her and me. I drove fast to put some distance between Max and me.
See also: distance, put

within hailing distance

 and within calling distance; within shouting distance
close enough to hear someone call out. When the boat came within hailing distance, I asked if I could borrow some gasoline. We weren't within shouting distance, so I couldn't hear what you said to me.
See also: distance, hail, within

within walking distance

close enough to walk to. is the train station within walking distance? My office is within walking distance from here.
See also: distance, walking, within

go the distance

to continue doing something until it is successfully completed The pitcher went the distance and has now won eight games in a row. The project would be difficult, but I agreed I would go the distance.
See also: distance

keep your distance (from somebody/something)

to avoid becoming too friendly or emotionally involved with someone I've seen her around the office, but she keeps her distance from most of us. The boy carefully kept his distance from the growling dog.
Related vocabulary: keep somebody/something at arm's length
See also: distance, keep

within striking distance (of something)

also in striking distance (of something)
1. very close to something The great thing about the house is that the ocean is within striking distance.
2. very close to achieving something The Republicans are within striking distance of winning the election.
Usage notes: sometimes used in the less polite but stronger form within spitting distance of something (very near): They live within spitting distance of my house, but luckily I don't see them much.

go the (full) distance

to continue to do something until it is successfully completed It's a really tough course - I'm just worried that I won't be able to go the distance.
See also: distance

in/within spitting distance

  also in/within striking distance
very close to something or someone (often + of ) The great thing about the house is that it's within spitting distance of the sea. The move to Ascot put us within striking distance of London.
See also: distance, spit

go the distance

Carry through a course of action to completion. For example, He said he's willing to go the distance with this project. This expression originated in boxing, where it means "to last for all the rounds that have been scheduled." In baseball the same term means "to pitch an entire game." For a synonym, see all the way, def. 1.
See also: distance

keep one's distance

Stay away; also, remain emotionally remote. For example, It's wise to keep one's distance from any wild animal, or Since the family argued with him, Harry's been keeping his distance. [Late 1500s]
See also: distance, keep

spitting distance

A very short distance, as in We were in spitting distance of winning the pennant but then we lost three games in a row . Alluding to the relatively short distance over which one's spit will carry, this idiom was first recorded in 1895 as within spitting range.
See also: distance, spit

put some distance between someone and someone/something

tv. to lengthen the distance or time between oneself and someone or something (including a place). She needed enough money to put some distance between herself and her hometown.
See also: and, distance, put

within spitting distance

mod. close by. The house you’re looking for is within spitting distance, but it’s hard to find.
See also: distance, spit, within
References in classic literature ?
Within a short distance of the fort was an Osage village, the inhabitants of which, men, women, and children, thronged down to the water side to witness their landing.
The river led me a short distance within the shadow before it emptied into the Sojar Az.
I had progressed no great distance from the mouth of the river when I discerned, lying some distance at sea, a great island.
Tiny streams were trickling between the rows from the main ditch before him and at some distance to his right he could see people at work among the plants.
At its base was a line of well-tended shrubs and at some distance towards its eastern extremity it was vine covered to the top.
The nearest house was quite a distance away, while his own stood in a clearing in the thick jungle which approached no where nearer than sixty feet.
question, "What is the exact distance which separates the earth from its satellite?
Now the difference between its greatest and its least distance is too considerable to be left out of consideration.
Then it showed that the distance separating the projectile from the lunar surface "might" be reckoned at about 2,833 miles.
First, errors of observation, concerning the distance of the projectile from the surface of the moon, for on the 11th of December it was impossible to see it; and what Joseph T.
We must suppose the Melipona to arrange her cells in level layers, as she already does her cylindrical cells; and we must further suppose, and this is the greatest difficulty, that she can somehow judge accurately at what distance to stand from her fellow-labourers when several are making their spheres; but she is already so far enabled to judge of distance, that she always describes her spheres so as to intersect largely; and then she unites the points of intersection by perfectly flat surfaces.
It is situated on a high part of the plain; and hence is a landmark visible at a great distance.
But her pace never changed, and Vronsky, feeling a spatter of mud in his face, realized that he was once more the same distance from Gladiator.
At some little distance in front of the whole, marched the individual, who, by his position and air, appeared to be the leader of the band.
And Miss Monflathers, the audacious creature who presumed, even in the dimmest and remotest distance of her imagination, to conjure up the degrading picture, 'I am a'most inclined,' said Mrs Jarley, bursting with the fulness of her anger and the weakness of her means of revenge, 'to turn atheist when I think of it