# Distance vs. Displacement

The main difference between distance and displacement is that the distance is the actual physical length between two points while displacement is the length of the shortest route between these two points. ## Key Differences

Arrow cannot be used to indicate distance while displacement can be indicated by simply drawing an arrow.
Distance is always positive while displacement may be positive, negative or even zero.
“S” is used to denote distance but “d” is used to denote displacement.
Displacement can be measured by multiplying speed and time whereas displacement can find out by multiplying velocity and time.
Complete information of the route is given by distance while displacement does not provide any information about the route.
Speed can find out from the distance while displacement is used to find out velocity.
Distance is the length of the actual path between two points while the shortest path between these two points is known as displacement.
Distance is a scalar quantity whereas displacement is a vector quantity.

## Comparison Chart

### .

The actual length of the path between two points is known as the distance.
The shortest path between two points is known as displacement.

### Quantity

It is a scalar quantity.
It is a vector quantity.

It provides complete information about the route being followed.
It does not provide any information about the route.

### Value

Its value is always positive.
Its value may be positive, negative or zero.

### Path

It does not have a specific path.
It has a unique path.

### Time

Distance cannot decrease with time
Displacement can decrease with time.

S
d

### Formula

S = Speed × Time
d = Velocity × Time

### Indication

It can never be indicated by the arrow.
It can be indicated by the arrow.

### Use

It can be used to calculate speed.
It can be used to calculate velocity.

## Distance and Displacement Definitions

#### Distance

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

#### Displacement

The act of displacing.

#### Distance

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

#### Displacement

The condition of having been displaced.

#### Distance

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

#### Displacement

(Chemistry) A reaction in which an atom, radical, ion, or molecule replaces another in a compound.

#### Distance

The extent of space between points on a measured course.

#### Displacement

A vector or the magnitude of a vector from the initial position to a subsequent position assumed by a body.

#### Distance

The length of a race, especially of a horserace.

#### Displacement

The weight or volume of a fluid displaced by a floating body, used especially as a measurement of the weight or bulk of ships.

#### Distance

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

#### Displacement

The volume displaced by a single stroke of a piston in an engine or pump.

#### Distance

A depiction of a such a point or area.

#### Displacement

The relative movement between the two sides of a fault.

#### Distance

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

#### Displacement

The distance between the two sides of a fault. Also called dislocation.

#### Distance

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

#### Displacement

(Psychiatry) A psychological defense mechanism in which there is an unconscious shift of emotions, affect, or desires from the original object to a more acceptable or immediate substitute.

#### Distance

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

#### Displacement

The act of displacing, or the state of being displaced; a putting out of place.

#### Distance

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

#### Displacement

The quantity of a liquid displaced by a floating body, as water by a ship, the weight of the displaced liquid being equal to that of the displacing body.

#### Distance

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

#### Displacement

(chemistry) The process of extracting soluble substances from organic material and the like, whereby a quantity of saturated solvent is displaced, or removed, for another quantity of the solvent.

#### Distance

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

#### Displacement

(fencing) Moving the target to avoid an attack; dodging.

#### Distance

Emotional separateness or reserve; aloofness.

#### Displacement

(physics) A vector quantity which denotes distance with a directional component.

#### 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).

#### Displacement

(grammar) The capability of a communication system to refer to things that are not present (that existed or will exist at another time, or that exist at another location).

#### Distance

To cause to appear at a distance.

#### Displacement

The act of displacing, or the state of being displaced; a putting out of place.
Unnecessary displacement of funds.
The displacement of the sun by parallax.

#### Distance

To leave far behind; outrun.

#### Displacement

The quantity of anything, as water, displaced by a floating body, as by a ship, the weight of the displaced liquid being equal to that of the displacing body.

#### 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.

#### Displacement

The process of extracting soluble substances from organic material and the like, whereby a quantity of saturated solvent is displaced, or removed, for another quantity of the solvent.

#### Distance

Length or interval of time.

#### Displacement

An event in which something is displaced without rotation

#### 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.

#### Displacement

Act of taking the place of another especially using underhanded tactics

#### Distance

Remoteness of place; a remote place.

#### Displacement

The act of uniform movement

#### Distance

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

#### Displacement

(chemistry) a reaction in which an elementary substance displaces and sets free a constituent element from a compound

#### Distance

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

#### Displacement

(psychiatry) a defense mechanism that transfers affect or reaction from the original object to some more acceptable one

#### Distance

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

#### Displacement

To move something from its natural environment

#### Distance

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

#### Displacement

Act of removing from office or employment

#### Distance

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

#### 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.

#### Distance

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

#### Distance

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

#### Distance

(transitive) To lose interest in a specific issue.

#### 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.

#### 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.

#### 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

He outdistanced the other runners

### Distance vs. Displacement

Distance and displacement are two terms in Physics which are used to indicate the length between two locations, points or objects. Distance is the numerical measurement of actual length between two objects. It is a scalar quantity and is always positive. While displacement is the shortest path between two objects. It is a vector quantity and may be positive negative or zero. The SI unit of both distance and displacement is a meter (m).

### What is Distance?

Distance is defined as the numerical quantity that determines the actual length between two points. Total distance can be calculated by adding all the intervals. It is only concerned with size or magnitude and ignores the direction of the path. So, it is a scalar quantity. Distance is always positive and provides complete information about the path. It always increases with time. It cannot be indicated by drawing an arrow. Distance can be calculated by multiplying the speed of the moving object with time. It is denoted by “S”.

#### Formula

Distance = Speed × Time or S = v × t

#### Example

If a person moves from a point A 5m towards the right and then 4m towards the left to reach a point B then total distance can be obtained by adding both intervals, i.e. S= 5+4 =9 So, the total distance covered by the person is 9 meters.

### What is Displacement?

Displacement is defined as the length of the shortest path between two points. It is actually changing in position and mostly in a straight line. Displacement is concerned with both the magnitude and direction of the path. So, it is a vector quantity. It does not provide any information about the route and its value may be positive, negative or even zero. It is changing in a position that matters not the route. So, if the change in position is zero than displacement will be zero. A change to the left is indicated by negative value e.g. -2m while a change to the right will be indicated by a positive value e.g. 2m. Displacement can be indicated easily by simply drawing an arrow. Displacement can be counted by multiplying velocity and time. It is denoted by “d”

#### Formula

Displacement = velocity × time or d = v × t

#### Example

If a person travels 5m towards the north and then 5m towards the south than the displacement will be zero because same distance but in opposite directions will cancel out each other.