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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 ?
It was a fertile and lovely plain, with great trees flinging their sun-speckled shadows over it, and hills fencing it in from the rough weather At no great distance, they beheld a river gleaming in the sunshine.
A short distance beyond the point at which they had surrounded him, Tarzan came to the trail again and sought for the spoor of Bertha Kircher and Lieutenant Smith-Oldwick.
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.
While in view of their admiring comrades, the same proud front and ordered array was observed, until the notes of their fifes growing fainter in distance, the forest at length appeared to swallow up the living mass which had slowly entered its bosom.
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.
The latter allowed it to come within half a cable's length; then, as if disdaining to dive, it took a little turn, and stopped a short distance off.
And invisible to me because it was so remote and small, flying swiftly and steadily towards me across that incredible distance, drawing nearer every min- ute by so many thousands of miles, came the Thing they were sending us, the Thing that was to bring so much struggle and calamity and death to the earth.
Where there is fortune to make the expenses of travelling unimportant, distance becomes no evil.
The knowing Pierre immediately landed and took to the woods, followed by his squaw laden with their papooses, and a large bundle containing their most precious effects, promising to rejoin the party some distance above St.
The passengers being all comfortably seated, we now rattled away merrily, accomplishing a greater distance in ten minutes than Christian probably trudged over in a day.
They could still see, seemingly far in front of them and high up, the baleful light which at the height and distance seemed like a faint line.
I walked on, however, some distance from the door before I let him have his way, that I might see precisely what he would do.
The huzzaing and shouting were little by little lost in the distance, and only the discharge of the ship's guns could be heard in the concavity beneath the balloon, as the latter sped on its flight.
Aramis never removed his from it; and, at a distance out in the sea, in proportion as the shore receded, that menacing proud mass of rock seemed to draw itself up, as formerly Porthos used to draw himself up, raising a smiling, yet invincible head towards heaven, like that of his dear old honest valiant friend, the strongest of the four, yet the first dead.
The road the French would take was unknown, and so the closer our troops trod on their heels the greater distance they had to cover.