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difference

[dif-er-uh ns, dif-ruh ns]
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noun
  1. the state or relation of being different; dissimilarity: There is a great difference between the two.
  2. an instance or point of unlikeness or dissimilarity: What accounts for the differences in their behavior?
  3. a significant change in or effect on a situation: His tact makes a difference in the way people accept his suggestions.
  4. a distinguishing characteristic; distinctive quality, feature, etc.: The difference in the two products is quality.
  5. the degree to which one person or thing differs from another.
  6. the act of distinguishing; discrimination; distinction.
  7. a disagreement in opinion.
  8. a dispute or quarrel.
  9. Also called finite distance. Mathematics.
    1. the amount by which one quantity is greater or less than another.
    2. relative complement.
    3. (of a function f) an expression of the form f(x + h) − f(x).
  10. a differentia.
verb (used with object), dif·fer·enced, dif·fer·enc·ing.
  1. to cause or constitute a difference in or between; make different.
  2. to perceive the difference in or between; discriminate.
Idioms
  1. split the difference,
    1. to compromise, especially to make equal concessions.
    2. to divide the remainder equally: Let's take half of the cake and let the three of them split the difference.

Origin of difference

1300–50; Middle English (< Anglo-French) < Latin differentia, equivalent to different- carrying different ways (see different) + -ia -ia; see -ence

Synonyms

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1. inconsistency, variation, diversity, imbalance, inequality, divergence, contrast, contrariety.

Synonym study

1. Difference, discrepancy, disparity, dissimilarity imply perceivable unlikeness, variation, or diversity. Difference refers to a lack of identity or a degree of unlikeness: a difference of opinion; a difference of six inches. Discrepancy usually refers to an inconsistency between things that should agree, balance, or harmonize: a discrepancy between the statements of two witnesses. Disparity implies inequality, often where a greater equality might reasonably be expected: a great disparity between the ages of husband and wife. Dissimilarity indicates an essential lack of resemblance between things in some respect comparable: a dissimilarity between social customs in Asia and America. 6. See distinction.

Antonyms

1. similarity, agreement.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for differencing

Historical Examples

  • This is the earliest specimen of differencing I have met with.

    The Curiosities of Heraldry

    Mark Antony Lower

  • Various charges may be placed on the points of Labels to extend their capacity for differencing.

  • They sin against the differencing grace, which appeared in their conversion.

  • Be ready to help the poor as well as the rich; differencing them no further than the public good requireth you to do.

  • Such a case is very unusual, as the use of the bend for differencing has long been obsolete.

    A Complete Guide to Heraldry

    Arthur Charles Fox-Davies


British Dictionary definitions for differencing

difference

noun
  1. the state or quality of being unlike
  2. a specific instance of being unlike
  3. a distinguishing mark or feature
  4. a significant change in a situationthe difference in her is amazing
  5. a disagreement or argumenthe had a difference with his wife
  6. a degree of distinctness, as between two people or things
    1. the result of the subtraction of one number, quantity, etc, from another
    2. the single number that when added to the subtrahend gives the minuend; remainder
  7. logic another name for differentia
  8. maths (of two sets)
    1. the set of members of the first that are not members of the secondSymbol: A – B
    2. symmetric differencethe set of members of one but not both of the given setsOften symbolized: A + B
  9. heraldry an addition to the arms of a family to represent a younger branch
  10. make a difference
    1. to have an effect
    2. to treat differently
  11. split the difference
    1. to settle a dispute by a compromise
    2. to divide a remainder equally
  12. with a difference with some peculiarly distinguishing quality, good or bad
verb (tr)
  1. rare to distinguish
  2. heraldry to add a charge to (arms) to differentiate a branch of a family
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for differencing

difference

n.

mid-14c., from Old French difference (12c.) "difference, distinction; argument, dispute," from Latin differentia "diversity, difference," from differentem (nominative differens), present participle of differre "to set apart" (see differ). Sense of "a quarrel" first attested late 14c. Colloquial phrase what's the diff? first recorded 1896.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

differencing in Medicine

difference

(dĭfər-əns, dĭfrəns)
n.
  1. The magnitude or degree by which one quantity differs from another of the same kind.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with differencing

difference

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.