Descent by distaff, descent on the mother's side.Distaff Day, or Distaff's Day, the morrow of the Epiphany, that is, January 7, because working at the distaff was then resumed, after the Christmas festival; — called also Rock Day, a distaff being called a rock. Shipley.

(Dis*tain") v. t. [imp. & p. p. Distained ; p. pr. & vb. n. Distaining.] [OE. desteinen, OF. desteindre to take away the color, F. déteindre; pref. des- (L. dis-) + F. teindre to tinge, dye, L. tingere. See Tinge, and cf. Stain.] To tinge with a different color from the natural or proper one; to stain; to discolor; to sully; to tarnish; to defile; — used chiefly in poetry. "Distained with dirt and blood." Spenser.

[She] hath . . . distained her honorable blood.

The worthiness of praise distains his worth.

(Dis"tal) a. [From Distant.] (Physiol.) (a) Remote from the point of attachment or origin; as, the distal end of a bone or muscle; — opposed to proximal. (b) Pertaining to that which is distal; as, the distal tuberosities of a bone.

(Dis"tal*ly), adv. (Anat.) Toward a distal part.

(Dis"tance) n. [F. distance, L. distantia.]

1. The space between two objects; the length of a line, especially the shortest line joining two points or things that are separate; measure of separation in place.

Every particle attracts every other with a force . . . inversely proportioned to the square of the distance.
Sir I. Newton.

2. Remoteness of place; a remote place.

Easily managed from a distance.
W. Irving.

'T is distance lends enchantment to the view.
T. Campbell.

[He] waits at distance till he hears from Cato.

3. (Racing) A space marked out in the last part of a race course.

The horse that ran the whole field out of distance.

In trotting matches under the rules of the American Association, the distance varies with the conditions of the race, being 80 yards in races of mile heats, best two in three, and 150 yards in races of two- mile heats. At that distance from the winning post is placed the distance post. If any horse has not reached this distance post before the first horse in that heat has reached the winning post, such horse is distanced, and disqualified for running again during that race.

4. (Mil.) Relative space, between troops in ranks, measured from front to rear; — contrasted with interval, which is measured from right to left. "Distance between companies in close column is twelve yards." Farrow.

2. Used as a symbol of the holder of a distaff; hence, a woman; women, collectively.

His crown usurped, a distaff on the throne.

Some say the crozier, some say the distaff was too busy.

The plural is regular, but Distaves occurs in Beaumont & Fletcher.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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