The term “distinct” comes from the Latin word “distinctus,” which means “distinguished” or “separate.” This, in turn, is derived from the Latin verb “distinguere,” meaning “to separate” or “to divide.”

1. Proto-Indo-European (PIE)

The PIE root “steg-” or “stik-” means “to prick” or “to mark.”

2. Latin

From the PIE root, the Latin verb “distinguere” developed, meaning “to separate” or “to divide,” and the adjective “distinctus,” meaning “distinguished” or “separate.”

3. Old French (c. 9th to 14th century CE)

The Latin term “distinctus” evolved into Old French “distinct,” meaning “clear” or “separate.”

4. Middle English (c. 11th to 15th century CE)

The Old French “distinct” was adopted into Middle English as “distinct,” meaning “clear” or “separate.”

5. Modern English (from 15th century CE to present)

The term “distinct” evolved into its current form and pronunciation, meaning “recognizably different in nature from something else of a similar type” or “clearly defined.”

The word “distinct” reflects the quality of being easily distinguishable or clearly defined, emphasizing separateness and clarity in various contexts.