Difference Wiki

Dimension vs. Distance: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Updated on October 12, 2023
Dimension refers to a measurable extent, often in a particular direction, while Distance is the amount of space between two points.

Key Differences

Dimension typically relates to a measurable extent of some sort, whether it's length, width, depth, or even more abstract measures. Distance, on the other hand, is more specifically concerned with the amount of space between two specific points, often linearly.
When discussing objects, the Dimension might refer to various aspects such as its height, breadth, depth, or even volume. Distance, however, would refer to how far apart it is from another object or point, not necessarily detailing its size or space it occupies.
In physics, Dimension has a broader connotation, referring to aspects beyond just the three spatial ones; time, for instance, is considered the fourth dimension. Distance in the realms of physics or mathematics often denotes a scalar quantity that specifies the interval or gap between two locations.
Context can significantly alter the interpretation of both words. For instance, in the world of digital graphics, Dimension might indicate resolution or size of an image, while Distance could refer to the gap or space between two images or elements on a screen.
Broadly speaking, every Distance can be a Dimension (if you measure the distance in a particular direction), but not every Dimension necessarily refers to a distance. A dimension might indicate other properties or aspects of an object or concept, while distance is exclusively about spacing or intervals.
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Comparison Chart

Definition

A measurable extent
Amount of space between two points

Contextual Use

Can refer to various aspects like length, breadth
Specifically about the interval between points

In Physics

Aspects beyond just spatial ones
Scalar quantity specifying interval between locations

In Digital Graphics

Might indicate resolution or size
Gap or space between two images or elements

General Interpretation

Not exclusively about spacing
Exclusively about spacing or intervals
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Dimension and Distance Definitions

Dimension

A mode of linear extension.
Time is considered the fourth dimension.

Distance

Space between two points.
The distance between the two cities is 200 miles.

Dimension

A measure of spatial extent, especially width, height, or length.

Distance

A point or period separated from a point of reference.
We are a distance away from achieving our goals.

Dimension

Often dimensions Extent or magnitude; scope
A problem of alarming dimensions.

Distance

The interval between two time points.
The distance between events was a mere three days.

Dimension

Aspect; element
"He's a good newsman, and he has that extra dimension" (William S. Paley).

Distance

The extent of space between two objects or places; an intervening space.

Dimension

The least number of independent coordinates required to specify uniquely the points in a space.

Distance

The fact or condition of being apart in space; remoteness.

Dimension

The range of such a coordinate.

Distance

(Mathematics) The length or numerical value of a straight line or curve.

Dimension

(Physics) A physical property, such as mass, distance, time, or a combination thereof, regarded as a fundamental measure of a physical quantity
Velocity has the dimension of distance divided by time.

Distance

The extent of space between points on a measured course.

Dimension

A realm of existence, as in a work of fiction, that is physically separate from another such realm
"Although it tells a grounded, political story free from aliens and alternate dimensions, the film remains packed to the brim with iconic ... characters." (Conner Schwerdtfeger).

Distance

The length of a race, especially of a horserace.

Dimension

To cut or shape to specified dimensions.

Distance

A point or area that is far away
"Telephone poles stretched way into a distance I couldn't quite see" (Leigh Allison Wilson).

Dimension

To mark with specified dimensions.

Distance

A depiction of a such a point or area.

Dimension

A single aspect of a given thing.
This film can be enjoyed on many dimensions - the script is great, the acting is realistic, and the special effects will simply take you aback.

Distance

A stretch of space without designation of limit; an expanse
A land of few hills and great distances.

Dimension

A measure of spatial extent in a particular direction, such as height, width or breadth, or depth.

Distance

The extent of time between two events; an intervening period.

Dimension

A construct whereby objects or individuals can be distinguished.

Distance

A point removed in time
At a distance of 11 years, his memory of the crime was blurry.

Dimension

(geometry) The number of independent coordinates needed to specify uniquely the location of a point in a space; also, any of such independent coordinates.

Distance

The full period or length of a contest or game
The challenger had never attempted the distance of 12 rounds.

Dimension

(linear algebra) The number of elements of any basis of a vector space.

Distance

An amount of progress
The curriculum committee is a distance from where it was last month.

Dimension

(physics) One of the physical properties that are regarded as fundamental measures of a physical quantity, such as mass, length and time.
The dimension of velocity is length divided by time.

Distance

Difference or disagreement
The candidates could not be at a greater distance on this issue.

Dimension

(computing) Any of the independent ranges of indices in a multidimensional array.

Distance

Emotional separateness or reserve; aloofness.

Dimension

A universe or plane of existence.
A machine that lets you travel to a parallel dimension.

Distance

To place or keep at or as if at a distance
"monks who had distanced themselves from the official ecclesiastical hierarchy by resurrecting the ascetic traditions of the early Church Fathers" (Rosamund Bartlett).

Dimension

(transitive) To mark, cut or shape something to specified dimensions.

Distance

To cause to appear at a distance.

Dimension

To specify the size of (an array or similar data structure); to allocate.

Distance

To leave far behind; outrun.

Dimension

In 24 Hours|page=268

Distance

(countable) The amount of space between two points, usually geographical points, usually (but not necessarily) measured along a straight line.
The distance to Petersborough is thirty miles.
From Moscow, the distance is relatively short to Saint Petersburg, relatively long to Novosibirsk, but even greater to Vladivostok.

Dimension

Measure in a single line, as length, breadth, height, thickness, or circumference; extension; measurement; - usually, in the plural, measure in length and breadth, or in length, breadth, and thickness; extent; size; as, the dimensions of a room, or of a ship; the dimensions of a farm, of a kingdom.
Gentlemen of more than ordinary dimensions.

Distance

Length or interval of time.

Dimension

Extent; reach; scope; importance; as, a project of large dimensions.

Distance

The difference; the subjective measure between two quantities.
We're narrowing the distance between the two versions of the bill.
The distance between the lowest and next gear on my bicycle is annoying.

Dimension

The degree of manifoldness of a quantity; as, time is quantity having one dimension; volume has three dimensions, relative to extension.

Distance

Remoteness of place; a remote place.

Dimension

A literal factor, as numbered in characterizing a term. The term dimensions forms with the cardinal numbers a phrase equivalent to degree with the ordinal; thus, a2b2c is a term of five dimensions, or of the fifth degree.

Distance

Remoteness in succession or relation.
The distance between a descendant and his ancestor

Dimension

The manifoldness with which the fundamental units of time, length, and mass are involved in determining the units of other physical quantities.

Distance

A space marked out in the last part of a racecourse.

Dimension

The magnitude of something in a particular direction (especially length or width or height)

Distance

The entire amount of progress to an objective.
He had promised to perform this task, but did not go the distance.

Dimension

A construct whereby objects or individuals can be distinguished;
Self-confidence is not an endearing property

Distance

A withholding of intimacy; alienation; variance.
The friendship did not survive the row: they kept each other at a distance.

Dimension

One of three cartesian coordinates that determine a position in space

Distance

The remoteness or reserve which respect requires; hence, respect; ceremoniousness.

Dimension

Magnitude or extent;
A building of vast proportions

Distance

The space measured back from the winning-post which a racehorse running in a heat must reach when the winner has covered the whole course, in order to run in the final heat.

Dimension

Indicate the dimensions on;
These techniques permit us to dimension the human heart

Distance

(transitive) To move away (from) someone or something.
He distanced himself from the comments made by some of his colleagues.

Dimension

Shape or form to required dimensions

Distance

(transitive) To leave at a distance; to outpace, leave behind.

Dimension

A measure of spatial extent.
The box's dimensions were 10x10x10 inches.

Distance

(transitive) To lose interest in a specific issue.

Dimension

An aspect or feature.
The dimensions of the problem are multifaceted.

Distance

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.

Dimension

A scope or magnitude.
The dimension of the disaster was unprecedented.

Distance

Remoteness of place; a remote place.
Easily managed from a distance.
'T is distance lends enchantment to the view.
[He] waits at distance till he hears from Cato.

Dimension

A construct in mathematics or physics.
String theory proposes multiple dimensions.

Distance

A space marked out in the last part of a race course.
The horse that ran the whole field out of distance.

Distance

Relative space, between troops in ranks, measured from front to rear; - contrasted with interval, which is measured from right to left.

Distance

Space between two antagonists in fencing.

Distance

The part of a picture which contains the representation of those objects which are the farthest away, esp. in a landscape.

Distance

Ideal disjunction; discrepancy; contrariety.

Distance

Length or interval of time; period, past or future, between two eras or events.
Ten years' distance between one and the other.
The writings of Euclid at the distance of two thousand years.

Distance

The remoteness or reserve which respect requires; hence, respect; ceremoniousness.
I hope your modestyWill know what distance to the crown is due.
'T is by respect and distance that authority is upheld.

Distance

A withholding of intimacy; alienation; coldness; disagreement; variance; restraint; reserve.
Setting them [factions] at distance, or at least distrust amongst themselves.
On the part of Heaven,Now alienated, distance and distaste.

Distance

Remoteness in succession or relation; as, the distance between a descendant and his ancestor.

Distance

The interval between two notes; as, the distance of a fourth or seventh.
If a man makes me keep my distance, the comfort is he keeps his at the same time.

Distance

To place at a distance or remotely.
I heard nothing thereof at Oxford, being then miles distanced thence.

Distance

To cause to appear as if at a distance; to make seem remote.
His peculiar art of distancing an object to aggrandize his space.

Distance

The property created by the space between two objects or points

Distance

A distant region;
I could see it in the distance

Distance

Size of the gap between two places;
The distance from New York to Chicago
He determined the length of the shortest line segment joining the two points

Distance

Indifference by personal withdrawal;
Emotional distance

Distance

The interval between two times;
The distance from birth to death
It all happened in the space of 10 minutes

Distance

A remote point in time;
If that happens it will be at some distance in the future
At a distance of ten years he had forgotten many of the details

Distance

Keep at a distance;
We have to distance ourselves from these events in order to continue living

Distance

Go far ahead of;
He outdistanced the other runners

Distance

A degree of remoteness or separation.
He kept his distance from the controversial topic.

Distance

A measure of difference or disparity.
The distance between their opinions was evident.

FAQs

Is Distance always linear?

Typically, but it can also refer to conceptual gaps or differences.

Can Dimension refer to non-physical properties?

Yes, dimension can refer to abstract aspects or features of a problem or situation.

What does Distance measure in a race?

Distance in a race measures the length of the course or how far the participants run, bike, swim, etc.

Is every Distance a Dimension?

Every distance can be a dimension if measured in a particular direction, but not every dimension refers to a distance.

Can you measure Distance in time?

Yes, distance can refer to the interval between two time points.

How is Dimension used in string theory?

String theory proposes the existence of multiple dimensions beyond the commonly understood ones.

Can Distance indicate emotional separation?

Yes, distance can refer to a degree of remoteness or emotional separation between individuals.

Does Dimension always refer to size?

No, dimension can refer to other aspects or features, not just size.

Can Dimension be used to refer to time?

Yes, in physics, time is often referred to as the fourth dimension.

Can Dimension refer to the resolution of an image?

Yes, in digital graphics, dimension might indicate the resolution or size of an image.

Can a book have multiple Dimensions?

In a physical sense, a book has dimensions like height, width, and depth. Metaphorically, it can have dimensions in terms of its depth of content, themes, and more.

How do you calculate the Distance between two cities?

The distance can be calculated using maps, GPS, or mathematical tools depending on the context and required precision.

Can the Dimensions of a room refer to its size?

Yes, the dimensions of a room typically refer to its height, length, and width.

Can Distance be used metaphorically?

Yes, distance can be used to indicate differences or disparities, such as in opinions or beliefs.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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