distinct, distinctive
1. Both words are related to the verb distinguish, but distinct means essentially ‘separate, different’ (The word has several distinct meanings) or ‘unmistakable, decided’ (She has a distinct impression of being watched), and is closer to distinguishable, whereas distinctive means ‘characteristic, identifying’ (The bird has distinctive black and white wing markings) and is closer to distinguishing. Distinct is often followed by from (Holiness is distinct from goodness), and this construction is common in the prepositional phrase as distinct from.
2. Examples of both words: (distinct)

• Scrambling, as distinct from fell walking and rock climbing, is a Cinderella of a sport —Guardian Weekly, 1978

• It was a comparatively shabby office…Euram Marketing gave a distinct impression of watching the pennies —G. Markstein, 1981

• Software designers have used two distinct methods in their attempt to provide the perfect package —Micro Software Magazine, 1982

• I can still hear her distinct, rather emphatic, very self-assured speech —R. Cobb, 1983

• (distinctive) Everyone who knew the Temple School will remember the distinctive smell of Freddie's office —Penelope Fitzgerald, 1982

• Her main ‘discovery’…was the distinctive way in which Marx had challenged all previous political traditions —D. May, 1986

• We currently have a number of distinctive looking dogs in kennels that have not been reported missing —Cornishman, 2007.

Modern English usage. 2014.

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