Definition of difference in English:

difference

noun

  • 1A point or way in which people or things are not the same.

    ‘the differences between men and women’
    • ‘The differences between the present study and prior work likely represent differences in patient selection.’
    • ‘One other positive difference from two weeks ago is that the police will have better forensic evidence which they can use.’
    • ‘‘One difference from last season is that we have a greater aerial threat,’ he says.’
    • ‘The most noticeable difference from last time was the lack of the big windows.’
    • ‘The cognitive differences in turn stem from biological differences between males and females.’
    • ‘But there was one crucial difference from all the other appeals I'd received.’
    • ‘The differences between them arise as a result of the differences in strength and density of oceanic and continental lithosphere.’
    • ‘The artist ventures to expose the inherent differences in the equation between the strong and the weak, and in the process makes no secret of his bias for the underdog.’
    • ‘Differences in society, differences in religious belief and identity are not necessarily a bad thing.’
    • ‘Differences between the two industries in their business organisation were mirrored by differences in labour relations.’
    • ‘There are socio-economic differences between the generations of my family.’
    • ‘The first major difference from a billiard table is that one end is rounded instead of square.’
    • ‘Once we start to look at the differences between ourselves and chimps it'll undoubtedly be the differences in these control sequences we'll be interested in.’
    • ‘Therefore differences between the experiments could be attributed to differences in genetic background of the species that are not shared.’
    • ‘These differences between the two inbred lines may reflect differences in their origin.’
    • ‘The differences in circumstances of states within the groups of developed and developing states are in many ways as great as the differences between these groups.’
    • ‘We will operate within it, of course, but anyone who watches us won't notice any difference from what we were doing this time last year.’
    • ‘Another marked difference from the past is the attitude towards marriage.’
    • ‘I love all the differences between people in different parts of the country.’
    • ‘Structural differences between the various drugs account for the differences in the potential side effects.’
    dissimilarity, contrast, distinction, distinctness, differentiation
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The state or condition of being dissimilar or unlike.
      ‘their difference from one another’
      • ‘I had never driven a 4X4 before but you don't notice any difference from a normal car except for the height.’
      • ‘An election is coming and this is beginning to look like the issue the incumbents can use to show their difference from the opposition.’
      • ‘The ugly body is thus a body whose difference from the normal body is turned into deviance.’
      • ‘A quick click on my archives, and I find that there's not much difference from last Christmas.’
      • ‘The music is an odd blend of soft feminine jazzy folk-rock, with little difference from song to song.’
      • ‘Even more importantly, the new government's policies so far show little difference from those of the old.’
      • ‘It's a world of difference from last year, when I could only hope to turn a few heads.’
      • ‘We retreat into our irony cages when we feel threatened by our difference from other people.’
      • ‘Tactics books are readily available, and in many instances there isn't a lot of difference from one to the next.’
      • ‘As someone who has lived in both, I can assure you that there is a world of difference between the two conditions.’
      • ‘Certainly, you can think that there is no difference from other sports when you refer to the rules of the game.’
      • ‘The attractive power of the church of God lies in its distinctiveness and difference from the world.’
      • ‘There is in America a sense of distance from other nations, and of difference from them, which has been long remarked and debated.’
      • ‘There is a world of difference from succeeding in South Africa to competing in Bangladesh.’
      • ‘Judging by my experience of American culinary habits, they will notice no difference from home cooking.’
      • ‘But for the boy, a transformation has to be achieved to an awareness of an identity based on difference from the mother.’
      • ‘Disgust for both Jews and women become for such men a way of asserting their own difference from mere mortal beings.’
      • ‘Well, in point of fact, there's very little difference from its ideological stance.’
      • ‘In truth I could not notice much difference from my seat near the front.’
      • ‘The question then becomes: how can we free difference from these normative connotations?’
    2. 1.2 A disagreement, quarrel, or dispute.
      ‘the couple are patching up their differences’
      • ‘They seem to have patched up their differences, now, though.’
      • ‘He goes on to list disagreements and differences of opinion among priests on all these topics.’
      • ‘The Army and the Navy were not able to solve their differences during World War II.’
      • ‘It puts the House and the Senate in sharp conflict over the issue of immigration and sets up a fierce battle over resolving their differences.’
      • ‘They just seem to be able to deal with differences and disagreements in ways that don't interfere with getting the job done.’
      • ‘Naturally, we will have our differences and our disputes, but we must be especially wary of the tendency to cast them in terms of a fictitious religious strife.’
      • ‘In a voluntary society like the church we rely heavily on the ties that bind us together as the body of Christ as a way of resolving our differences and disputes.’
      • ‘Another disagreement is on the more obvious public level: regional disagreements and differences over ancestral origin.’
      • ‘No doubt, these differences will be patched up, and then, perhaps in a year's time, we the Irish people will be asked to vote on this Constitution.’
      • ‘They've patched up their differences now though, meeting in Brisbane today.’
      • ‘Even if the two of them patch up their differences for public consumption, they have surely gone past the point of no return.’
      • ‘Governments are often beset by internal divisions and dispute, but such differences have traditionally been over politics or policy.’
      • ‘The couple have been together seven years and married in October last year after patching up their differences.’
      • ‘All disputes or differences arising out of this contract which cannot be amicably resolved shall be referred to arbitration in London.’
      • ‘The battles between the British kids and their Gibraltarian counterparts of Spanish ethnic origin had nothing to do with political differences over the war, he says.’
      • ‘We can imagine a private quarrel between two people or two groups whose differences are based upon misunderstandings.’
      • ‘Let's keep the psychology and rhetoric of argument in mind while we debate our differences.’
      • ‘Ending three decades of enmity, the two visionaries shelved Cold War differences to unite against a growing Soviet threat.’
      • ‘Do you ever find yourselves playing out other differences or disagreements you may have with each other through the football difference between you?’
      • ‘Family quarrels and personal differences, too, often have a hefty measure of the same thing.’
      disagreement, difference of opinion, misunderstanding, dispute, disputation, argument, debate, quarrel, wrangle, altercation, contretemps, clash, controversy, dissension
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 A quantity by which amounts differ; the remainder left after subtraction of one value from another.
      ‘the gross margin is the difference between the total cost of the goods and the final selling price’
      • ‘However, the values of energy differences are overestimated.’
      • ‘The gap, when taken over the full five years would amount to a total difference of about 7.7%.’
      • ‘The difference in wages remained constant, not increasing over time.’
      • ‘However, the 9 percent difference in speed has remained constant over the years.’
      • ‘He was paid a settlement of salary difference from last April to November on top of three months' salary in lieu of notice.’
      • ‘The difference between the expected value and the certainty equivalent is the risk premium for the gamble.’
      • ‘The index of divergence is expressed in the sum of the absolute value of the differences for all industries.’
      • ‘He notices that It looks like the differences seem to be ‘copying’ the Fibonacci series in the tens and in the units columns.’
      • ‘Each matrix was constructed by subtracting the differences in values between populations.’
      • ‘Or alternatively, will the difference in real value and actual rental paid be deducted from his salary?’
      • ‘Whenever differences are observed, values are tabulated separately for contact lipids.’
      • ‘It is claimed that there remains a substantial difference between that sum and the full amount of the loss.’
      • ‘For each pixel, find the difference in intensity between each of its neighbors, then sum the absolute value of those differences.’
      • ‘The clinical relevance of weighted mean differences and P values, however, is not obvious.’
      • ‘The difference of the total amount which is K67 million is what the community has given in terms of labour and materials.’
      • ‘If the antecedent is more true than the consequent, then the conditional is less than the maximal truth by the difference between their values.’
      • ‘The Department of Labour examined data from 2001 when the pay difference was 40 percent.’
      • ‘All of the previously observed statistical differences remained when the data were corrected for percentage activation.’
      • ‘Quantitatively, the dollar amount differences are shown in Table 4.’
      • ‘Simple arithmetic will yield the difference between these two amounts.’
      balance, outstanding amount, remaining amount, remainder, rest, residue, excess, extra
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4Heraldry An alteration in a coat of arms to distinguish members or branches of a family.
      • ‘Secondly, it assumes coat armour to be hereditary in the male lines of a family, with differences to distinguish cadet branches.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]Heraldry
  • Alter (a coat of arms) to distinguish members or branches of a family.

Phrases

  • make a (or no) difference

    • Have a significant effect (or no effect) on a person or situation.

      ‘the law will make no difference to my business’
      • ‘It will make no difference to the situation we find ourselves in.’
      • ‘Even the proprietors and editors who did not want devolution to succeed can no longer claim the parliament is doing nothing or making no difference.’
      • ‘It simply makes no difference how well the situation there goes over the next year.’
      • ‘It is not an executive role, but it matters because it can make a difference.’
      • ‘The awareness campaigns have made a difference but the situation is far from ideal.’
      • ‘She paid tribute to women's groups, who were making a difference in women's lives.’
      • ‘Using the entry form printed here, send us your nominations for community heroes who are making a difference.’
      • ‘So, I do not think that a different design would have significantly made a difference.’
      • ‘If it is not, it will unfairly brand staff as failures while making no difference to the quality of service.’
      • ‘Although the project was only officially launched last February there is already evidence that its methods are making a difference.’
  • with a difference

    • Having a new or unusual feature or treatment.

      ‘a fashion show with a difference’
      • ‘This is fun fashion with a difference, with categories on cartoon characters.’
      • ‘Guests are always more than welcome, so if you do feel like an evening out with a difference, do come along and join us.’
      • ‘The organisers are looking for volunteer men who will dress in drag for a Beauty Pageant with a difference.’
      • ‘He is back with more songs, a new outlook and a band with a difference.’
      • ‘Nineteen Bolton teenagers are set for a school trip with a difference - delivering aid in Africa.’
      • ‘It's a racing game with a difference; the first to take advantage of inter-platform dependence.’
      • ‘I believe the next exhibition will feature kids art presented with a difference.’
      • ‘It's a fashion parade with a difference, where the garments are everyday psychoses.’
      • ‘Yes, this one indeed promises to be a pottery exhibition with a difference.’
      • ‘For an autumn break with a difference, head for the Faroe Islands.’

Origin

Middle English: via Old French from Latin differentia (see differentia).

Pronunciation:

difference

/ˈdif(ə)rəns/