- The definition of distinctive is a quality or characteristic that is unique to a person or thing.
An example of something that would be described as distinctive is the colorful feathers of a peacock, which are unique to those birds.
Origin: Middle English ; from Midieval Latin distinctivus
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- Serving to identify; distinguishing: distinctive tribal tattoos. See Usage Note at distinct.
- Characteristic or typical: “Jerusalem has a distinctive Middle East flavor” (Curtis Wilkie).
- Linguistics Phonemically relevant and capable of conveying a difference in meaning, as nasalization in the initial sound of mat versus bat.
- dis·tincˈtive·ly adverb
- dis·tincˈtive·ness noun