Difference between ”distinct” and ” distinctive”

The male bird has distinctive white markets on its head.

According to Oxford Advanced Learner’s English-Chinese Dictionary 7th Edition, page 580, the word distinct has the meaning of ”easily or clearly heard, seen, felt, etc.

while the word ”distinctive” has the meaning of ”having a quality or characteristic that makes something different and easily noticed

Could I use distinct in that sentence above, if they are interchangeable in that case, would there be any difference in its meaning ?

There is also another example from the dictionary that makes me confused:

There was a distinct smell of gas.

and I also found a sentence from English language and usage written as :

…from somewhere nearby came the distinctive smell of new rubber.

Which sentence would be right ?


Contrasting “a distinctive smell … ” to “a distinct smell….”.

The former means that the smell is different from other smells. The latter means the smell is easily sensed. So, in a situation where there are many competing odors, a distinctive smell might not be distinct. For example, in a room where a lot of people are wearing perfume, each perfume is likely to be distinctive, but they would not be distinct.

Source : Link , Question Author : Clarity94 , Answer Author : Peter Flom

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