distance (oneself) from (someone or something)

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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
References in classic literature ?
A fourth and still more important consideration is, that as almost every State will, on one side or other, be a frontier, and will thus find, in regard to its safety, an inducement to make some sacrifices for the sake of the general protection; so the States which lie at the greatest distance from the heart of the Union, and which, of course, may partake least of the ordinary circulation of its benefits, will be at the same time immediately contiguous to foreign nations, and will consequently stand, on particular occasions, in greatest need of its strength and resources.
It was most interesting to me to observe that wherever several bees had begun to excavate these basins near together, they had begun their work at such a distance from each other, that by the time the basins had acquired the above stated width (i.
it ought to reach the moon four days after its departure, that is on the 5th of December, at midnight precisely, at the moment of her attaining her perigee, that is her nearest distance from the earth, which is exactly 86,410 leagues (French), or 238,833 miles mean distance (English).
Heyward was silent until the Indians had cautiously paddled the canoe some distance from the fort, and within the broad and dark shadows that fell from the eastern mountain on the glassy surface of the lake; then he demanded:
Upon a great island which lies in the Sojar Az, but a short distance from our shores, a wicked man has collected a great band of outcast warriors of all tribes.
When I was at some distance from the pirates, I discovered, by my pocket-glass, several islands to the south-east.
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