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dissimilar; unlike; separate and distinct
Not to be confused with:
diffident – hesitant to assert oneself; timid
Abused, Confused, & Misused Words by Mary Embree Copyright © 2007, 2013 by Mary Embree


 (dĭf′ər-ənt, dĭf′rənt)
1. Unlike in form, quality, amount, or nature; dissimilar: took different approaches to the problem.
2. Distinct or separate: That's a different issue altogether.
3. Various or assorted: interviewed different members of the community.
4. Differing from all others; unusual: a different point of view.
In a different way or manner; otherwise: "Carol ... didn't know different until Elinor told her" (Ben Brantley).

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin differēns, different-, present participle of differre, to differ; see differ.]

dif′fer·ent·ly adv.
dif′fer·ent·ness n.
Usage Note: The phrases different from and different than are both common in British and American English. The British also use the construction different to. Since the 18th century, language critics have singled out different than as incorrect when used before nouns and noun phrases, though it is well attested in the works of reputable writers. Traditionally, from is used when the comparison is between two persons or things: My book is different from [not than] yours. Note that noun phrases, including ones that have clauses in them, also fall into this category: The campus is different from the way it was the last time you were here. The Usage Panel is divided on the acceptability of different than with nouns and noun phrases, with a majority finding several of these constructions unacceptable. In our 2004 survey, 57 percent rejected the use of different than with a gerund in the sentence Caring for children with disabilities in a regular child-care setting is not new and, in many cases, is not particularly different than caring for other children. Roughly the same percentage (55) disapproved of the construction with a noun phrase containing a clause in The new kid felt that the coach's treatment of him was different than that of the other players who were on the team last year. Some 60 percent rejected the sentence New York seemed very different than Rome, where they'd been on good terms. There should be no complaint, however, when the object of comparison is expressed by a full clause: The campus is different than it was twenty years ago.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(ˈdɪfərənt; ˈdɪfrənt)
1. partly or completely unlike
2. not identical or the same; other: he always wears a different tie.
3. out of the ordinary; unusual
ˈdifferently adv
ˈdifferentness n
Usage: The constructions different from, different to, and different than are all found in the works of writers of English during the past. Nowadays, however, the most widely acceptable preposition to use after different is from. Different to is common in British English, but is considered by some people to be incorrect, or less acceptable. Different than is a standard construction in American English, and has the advantage of conciseness when a clause or phrase follows, as in this result is only slightly different than in the US. As, however, this idiom is not regarded as totally acceptable in British usage, it is preferable either to use different from: this result is only slightly different from that obtained in the US or to rephrase the sentence: this result differs only slightly from that in the US
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈdɪf ər ənt, ˈdɪf rənt)

1. not alike in character or quality; differing; dissimilar.
2. not identical; separate or distinct: three different answers.
3. various; several: Different people told me the same story.
4. not ordinary; unusual.
[1350–1400; Middle English < Anglo-French < Latin]
dif′fer•ent•ly, adv.
dif′fer•ent•ness, n.
syn: See various.
usage: Although it is frequently claimed that different should be followed only by from, not by than, in actual usage both words have occurred for at least 300 years and are standard in all varieties of spoken and written American English. From is more common today in introducing a phrase, but than is also used: New York speech is different from (or than) that of Chicago.Than is usually used to introduce a clause: The stream followed a different course than the map showed. In sentences of this type, when from is used instead of than, more words are necessary: a different course from the one the map showed. In British English to frequently follows different: The early sketches are very different to the later ones. different in the sense “unusual” is well established in all but the most formal American English: The décor in this theater is really different.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. 'different'

If one thing is different from another, it is unlike the other thing in some way.

The meeting was different from any that had gone before.
Health is different from physical fitness.

Many British people say that one thing is different to another. Different to means the same as different from.

My methods are totally different to his.

Be Careful!
Some people object to this use. In conversation and informal writing, you can use either different from or different to, but in formal writing it is better to use different from.

In American English, you can say that one thing is different than another. This use is often considered incorrect in British English, but it is sometimes the simplest possibility when the comparison involves a clause.

I am no different than I was 50 years ago.
2. 'very different'

If there is a great difference between two things, you can say that one thing is very different from the other.

The firm is now very different from the way it was ten years ago.

Be Careful!
Don't say that one thing is 'much different' from another.

If two things are quite similar, you can say that one thing is not very different from the other or not much different from the other.

I discovered that things were not very different from what I had seen in New York.
The new model is not much different from the old one.
3. 'no different'

If two things are alike, you can say that one thing is no different from the other.

He was no different from any other child his age.

Be Careful!
Don't say that one thing is 'not different' from another.

Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.different - unlike in nature or quality or form or degree; "took different approaches to the problem"; "came to a different conclusion"; "different parts of the country"; "on different sides of the issue"; "this meeting was different from the earlier one"
incompatible - not compatible; "incompatible personalities"; "incompatible colors"
unlike, dissimilar, different - marked by dissimilarity; "for twins they are very unlike"; "people are profoundly different"
dissimilar - not similar; "a group of very dissimilar people"; "a pump not dissimilar to those once found on every farm"; "their understanding of the world is not so dissimilar from our own"; "took different (or dissimilar) approaches to the problem"
varied - characterized by variety; "immigrants' varied ethnic and religious traditions"; "his work is interesting and varied"
same - closely similar or comparable in kind or quality or quantity or degree; "curtains the same color as the walls"; "two girls of the same age"; "mother and son have the same blue eyes"; "animals of the same species"; "the same rules as before"; "two boxes having the same dimensions"; "the same day next year"
2.different - distinctly separate from the firstdifferent - distinctly separate from the first; "that's another (or different) issue altogether"
other - not the same one or ones already mentioned or implied; "today isn't any other day"- the White Queen; "the construction of highways and other public works"; "he asked for other employment"; "any other person would tell the truth"; "his other books are still in storage"; "then we looked at the other house"; "hearing was good in his other ear"; "the other sex"; "she lived on the other side of the street from me"; "went in the other direction"
3.different - differing from all others; not ordinary; "advertising that strives continually to be different"; "this new music is certainly different but I don't really like it"
unusual - not usual or common or ordinary; "a scene of unusual beauty"; "a man of unusual ability"; "cruel and unusual punishment"; "an unusual meteorite"
4.different - marked by dissimilarity; "for twins they are very unlike"; "people are profoundly different"
5.different - distinct or separate; "each interviewed different members of the community"
other - not the same one or ones already mentioned or implied; "today isn't any other day"- the White Queen; "the construction of highways and other public works"; "he asked for other employment"; "any other person would tell the truth"; "his other books are still in storage"; "then we looked at the other house"; "hearing was good in his other ear"; "the other sex"; "she lived on the other side of the street from me"; "went in the other direction"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


2. various, some, many, several, varied, numerous, diverse, divers (archaic), assorted, miscellaneous, sundry, manifold, multifarious Different countries specialise in different products.
3. unusual, unique, special, strange, rare, extraordinary, bizarre, distinctive, something else, peculiar, uncommon, singular, unconventional, out of the ordinary, left-field (informal), atypical Try to think of a menu that is interesting and different.
4. other, another, separate, individual, distinct, unrelated, discrete What you do in the privacy of your own home is a different matter.
"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer" [Henry David Thoreau Walden]
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


1. Not like another in nature, quality, amount, or form:
2. Not the same as what was previously known or done:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
khác nhau


[ˈdɪfrənt] ADJ
1. (= not alike) → diferente, distinto
the two brothers couldn't be more different from each otherlos dos hermanos no podían ser más diferentes or distintos el uno del otro
that's different to or from what I was toldeso es diferente de or a lo que me contaron, eso es distinto de or a lo que me contaron
that's quite a different mattereso es harina de otro costal
see also chalk
2. (= changed) I feel a different personme siento otro
3. (= various) → varios, distintos
different people noticed itvarias or distintas personas lo vieron
4. (iro) (= distinctive) → distinto, original
"what do you think of my new hairstyle?" - "well ... it's certainly different"-¿qué te parece mi nuevo peinado? -pues ... desde luego es algo distinto or original
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ˈdɪfrənt] adj
(= dissimilar) → différent(e)
We are very different → Nous sommes très différents.
different from, different to → différent(e) de
Paris is different from London → Paris est différent de Londres.
different than (US)différent(e) de
(= various) → différent(e)
(= unusual) → pas commun(e)
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


andere(r, s), anders pred(from, to als); two people, thingsverschieden, unterschiedlich; completely differentvöllig verschieden; (= changed)völlig verändert; that’s different!das ist was anderes!; in what way are they different?wie unterscheiden sie sich?; to feel (like) a different personein ganz anderer Mensch sein; to do something differentetwas anderes tun; that’s quite a different matterdas ist etwas völlig anderes; she’s quite different from what you thinksie ist ganz anders, als Sie denken; he wants to be differenter will unbedingt anders sein or etwas Besonderes sein
(= various)verschieden
adv thinkanders; he doesn’t know any differenter kennt es nicht anders; (with behaviour) → er weiß es nicht besser
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˈdɪfrnt] adj
a. (not alike) different (from or to)diverso/a (da), differente (da); (changed) → altro/a, diverso/a
that's quite a different matter → è tutt'altra cosa, è una faccenda completamente diversa
I feel a different person → mi sento un altro
b. (various) → diverso/a, vario/a
it comes in several different colours → è disponibile in diversi or vari colori
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(ˈdifrəns) noun
1. what makes one thing unlike another. I can't see any difference between these two pictures; It doesn't make any difference to me whether you go or stay; There's not much difference between them.
2. an act of differing, especially a disagreement. We had a difference of opinion; Have they settled their differences? (= Have they stopped arguing?).
3. the amount by which one quantity or number is greater than another. If you buy it for me I'll give you $6 now and make up the difference later.
ˈdifferent adjective
(often with from) not the same. These gloves are not a pair – they're different; My ideas are different from his.
ˌdiffeˈrentiate (-ˈrenʃieit) verb
1. to see or be able to tell a difference (between). I cannot even differentiate a blackbird and a starling.
2. (with between) to treat differently. She does not differentiate between her two children although one is adopted.
ˈdiffeˌrentiˈation noun

different is followed by from (not than).
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


مُخْتَلِف rozdílný forskellig verschieden διαφορετικός diferente erilainen différent različit differente 違う 다른 verschillend forskjellig różny diferente различный annorlunda ต่างกัน farklı khác nhau 不同的
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009


a. diferente, distinto-a.
English-Spanish Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012
Collins Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009
References in classic literature ?
The traditional conception of cause and effect is one which modern science shows to be fundamentally erroneous, and requiring to be replaced by a quite different notion, that of LAWS OF CHANGE.
When several people simultaneously see the same table, they all see something different; therefore "the" table, which they are supposed all to see, must be either a hypothesis or a construction.
Instead of supposing that there is some unknown cause, the "real" table, behind the different sensations of those who are said to be looking at the table, we may take the whole set of these sensations (together possibly with certain other particulars) as actually BEING the table.
It must increase your strength, riches, and trade; and by this union the whole island, being joined in affection and free from all apprehensions of different interest, will be ENABLED TO RESIST ALL ITS ENEMIES." "We most earnestly recommend to you calmness and unanimity in this great and weighty affair, that the union may be brought to a happy conclusion, being the only EFFECTUAL way to secure our present and future happiness, and disappoint the designs of our and your enemies, who will doubtless, on this occasion, USE THEIR UTMOST ENDEAVORS TO PREVENT OR DELAY THIS UNION."
Instead of their being "joined in affection" and free from all apprehension of different "interests," envy and jealousy would soon extinguish confidence and affection, and the partial interests of each confederacy, instead of the general interests of all America, would be the only objects of their policy and pursuits.
On the one hand, no rational calculation of probabilities would lead us to imagine that the disposition which a conduct so violent and extraordinary would imply, could ever find its way into the national councils; and on the other, it may be concluded with certainty, that if so improper a spirit should ever gain admittance into them, it would display itself in a form altogether different and far more decisive.
There is sufficient diversity in the state of property, in the genius, manners, and habits of the people of the different parts of the Union, to occasion a material diversity of disposition in their representatives towards the different ranks and conditions in society.
As long as the reason of man continues fallible, and he is at liberty to exercise it, different opinions will be formed.
The latent causes of faction are thus sown in the nature of man; and we see them everywhere brought into different degrees of activity, according to the different circumstances of civil society.
It is evident then that the getting of money is not the same thing as economy, for the business of the one is to furnish the means of the other to use them; and what art is there employed in the management of a family but economy, but whether this is a part of it, or something of a different species, is a doubt; for if it is the business of him who is to get money to find out how riches and possessions may be procured, and both these arise from various causes, we must first inquire whether the art of husbandry is part of money-getting or something different, and in general, whether the same is not true of every acquisition and every attention which relates to provision.
In treating this subject, two classes of facts, to a large extent fundamentally different, have generally been confounded together; namely, the sterility of two species when first crossed, and the sterility of the hybrids produced from them.
It is certain, on the one hand, that the sterility of various species when crossed is so different in degree and graduates away so insensibly, and, on the other hand, that the fertility of pure species is so easily affected by various circumstances, that for all practical purposes it is most difficult to say where perfect fertility ends and sterility begins.