[ dif-er ]
See synonyms for: differdiffereddifferingdiffers on Thesaurus.com

verb (used without object)
  1. to be unlike, dissimilar, or distinct in nature or qualities (often followed by from): The two writers differ greatly in their perceptions of the world. Each writer's style differs from that of another.

  2. to disagree in opinion, belief, etc.; be at variance; disagree (often followed by with or from): His business partner always differs with him.

  1. Obsolete. to dispute; quarrel.

Origin of differ

First recorded in 1325–75; Middle English differren “to distinguish,” from Middle French differer “to put off, distinguish,” Latin differre “to bear apart, scatter, be different,” from dif- dif- + ferre “to bear, bring, carry”

Other words from differ

  • un·dif·fer·ing, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use differ in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for differ


/ (ˈdɪfə) /

  1. (often foll by from) to be dissimilar in quality, nature, or degree (to); vary (from)

  2. (often foll by from or with) to be at variance (with); disagree (with)

  1. dialect to quarrel or dispute

  2. agree to differ to end an argument amicably while maintaining differences of opinion

Origin of differ

C14: from Latin differre, literally: to bear off in different directions, hence scatter, put off, be different, from dis- apart + ferre to bear

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with differ


see beg to differ. Also see under difference; different.

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