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Imagine I have dots on a line and the dots have all the same distance to their neighbours. What is the word for that? I am searching for a word which comes from Latin for a scientific text. I think the word starts with "homo-" and I'd guess it is "homo-distant" or something similar, but I am not quite sure. I also need the opposite, as in non-WORD (maybe hetero-distant?). An alternative might be "homogeneous", but that would be a bit too general. Another alternative might be "monotonous", but that is also rather general.

Example sentences:

Qualitative features can be discrete and WORD or discrete and non-WORD, or continuous.

The data-points are WORD.

  • 5
    To be pedantic, if all are on a line, then the points are not all equidistant, just the adjacent points are equidistant. I think a relevant word is then 'equally spaced' or 'regularly spaced' (and use 'not' for the opposite. – Mitch Apr 7 '16 at 11:52
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    Has anyone mentioned 'equidistant' yet? :) – Marv Mills Apr 7 '16 at 12:32
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    @MarvMills I don't believe so! Why has nobody thought of that? – John Clifford Apr 7 '16 at 13:27
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    Regular, irregular; Centered, biased; equidistant, inequidistant; even, uneven spacing – The Nate Apr 8 '16 at 7:47
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    "Uniform" and "uniformly distributed" come to mind. – Lee Daniel Crocker Apr 8 '16 at 19:33

10 Answers 10

70

You probably mean equidistant:

  • Equally distant.

Equidistant:

  • 1560s, from French équidistant (14c.), from Late Latin aequidistantem (nominative aequidistans), from aequi- (see equal (adj.)) + distans (see distant). In reference to a type of map projection, from 1866.

(Etymonline)

  • 1
    True, but your answer is more detailed than mine and the question doesn't really need four identical answers. XD – John Clifford Apr 7 '16 at 9:21
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    @MaxWilliams That...would make far too much sense. – John Clifford Apr 7 '16 at 9:23
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    I'm not happy with 'equidistant' being implied to be an exact synonym of 'equally spaced'. I'd require 'the points are equidistant from their neighbours at the very least (and would choose 'equally spaced' anyway). There are examples of 'equidistant' used without 'from' on the internet, but I haven't found a dictionary giving say 'equidistant points along a line' as an example. – Edwin Ashworth Apr 7 '16 at 9:40
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    @Edwin: In the case of 'equidistant points along a line', other phrases are regular intervals (and the obvious opposite, irregular intervals). periodic (opposite: aperiodic) is also applicable. – Ben Voigt Apr 7 '16 at 14:36
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    @SantiBailors As the word is at least most often used, points (B, C, D etc) are all equidistant from a given point (A say), not pairwise. – Edwin Ashworth Apr 8 '16 at 12:53
14

The word you want is equidistant.

At equal distances:
the line joins together all points which are equidistant from the two axes

[ODO]

There isn't a word which means not equidistant, because that's the usual case. Being equidistant is the special case which is unusual. You'd need to say something like "all at different distances".

  • 1
    The word I know that is the opposite of 'equidistant' is 'varidistant'. I can't find it in any dictionaries, but I do get some results from academic papers when I google it (use the verbatim option). – DCShannon Apr 8 '16 at 2:31
  • I didn't even know this was a word, but was the first thing to pop into my head when I read the title. – Carcigenicate Apr 8 '16 at 15:24
13

It sounds like you want dots which are equidistant.

of equal distance : located at the same distance (a location equidistant from two major cities)

Merriam-Webster

As for an opposite, although not an "official" antonym, "non-equidistant" is probably the most appropriate one. It's definitely used by some people, having 49,400 Google results at the time of searching (some of which appear to be quite prolific research papers)

  • haha, when i started typing there were no answers. Stupid mininum 30 char limit :) – Max Williams Apr 7 '16 at 9:15
  • Yeah, I didn't see Josh's until I posted mine. I feel I should delete this one since he answered first. – John Clifford Apr 7 '16 at 9:16
  • LOL, now there's four of them. Keep them all, it makes the answer(s) all the more decisive. – Mazura Apr 8 '16 at 0:04
  • I'd say that all of these answers are equidistant from perfection. ;) – fluffy Apr 9 '16 at 23:24
4

I know you've already accepted an answer but I thought it would be nice to not provide a fifth equidistant answer so my proposal is the word pitch.

From my experience, I have most commonly associated it to pixel pitch in monitors measured in µm

All of these dots have the same pitch

I know it's not a one-word answer due to the use of "same" but it does provide variety.

3

For a pair, regularly/irregularly spaced.

Regularly: 3 with an even shape, or arranged with an equal amount of space between objects The city planted trees along the streets at regularly spaced intervals.

MacMillan: http://www.macmillandictionary.com/us/dictionary/american/regularly

2

I want to add to the list the word equispaced. This is what I would personally choose.

To comment on the other answers:

  • same pitch, uniform distribution, equally/evenly spaced are all correct answers in my opinion;
  • I think equidistant is not ideal: I would rather use it to say that A, B and C have the same distance to a common point Z, not to each other.
1

Equidistant is probably the best answer, but if you want to keep it to well known words, you might consider uniformly spaced or uniformly distributed.

0

I would personally choose equidistant, as other answers have already mentioned, but if you are still looking for alternatives, in mathematics two common terms are:

homogeneous

As in:

The distribution of dots is homogeneous

The data points are distributed homogeneously

or, probably slightly better

uniform

As in:

The datapoints are uniformly distributed over the interval [X, Y]

or, within proper context:

The distribution of the dots can be uniform, non-uniform or continuous.

0

Consider, evenly distant and equally distant

Suzette felt the cold water around her thighs. A shiver chased away the sun's warmth. They were in the middle of the passage now, about evenly distant from the mainland and the island.

Trouble at Fort La Pointe

Equal straight lines in a circle are equally distant from the center, and those which are equally distant from the center equal one another.

aleph0.clarku.edu

Also, halfway

: in the middle between two points.

M-W

0

Homologous is probably the word with the 'homo-' prefix you were looking for.

homologous [huh-mol-uh-guh s, hoh-]

adjective 1. having the same or a similar relation; corresponding, as in relative position or structure.

protected by Matt E. Эллен Apr 10 '16 at 17:02

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