difference

[ dif-er-uhns, dif-ruhns ]
/ ˈdɪf ər əns, ˈdɪf rəns /
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noun

verb (used with object), dif·fer·enced, dif·fer·enc·ing.

to cause or constitute a difference in or between; make different.
to perceive the difference in or between; discriminate.

Nearby words

  1. dif-,
  2. dif.,
  3. diff.,
  4. diffeomorphism,
  5. differ,
  6. difference threshold,
  7. different,
  8. different as night and day,
  9. different strokes for different folks,
  10. differentia

Idioms

    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

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.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for difference


British Dictionary definitions for difference

difference

/ (ˈdɪfərəns, ˈdɪfrəns) /

noun

verb (tr)

rare to distinguish
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 difference

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

Medicine definitions for difference

difference

[ dĭfər-əns, dĭfrəns ]

n.

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 difference

difference

see make a difference; split the difference. Also see under different.

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