early 15c., from Old French distinctif and directly from Medieval Latin distinctivus, from Latin distinct-, past participle of distinguere (see distinguish). Meaning "markedly individual" is from 1580s. Related: Distinctively; distinctiveness.
1. Chick peas have a distinctive, delicious and nutty flavour.
2. Cooking with the lid on gives the food that distinctive smoky flavour.
3. All their beds were distinctive; Mac'swas an iron affair with brass knobs.
4. When Miles Davis died, jazz was robbed of its most distinctive voice.