Definition of different in English:



  • 1Not the same as another or each other; unlike in nature, form, or quality.

    ‘you can play this game in different ways’
    ‘the car is different from anything else on the market’
    • ‘When you move away you do feel different as a person because it is a fresh start.’
    • ‘It's very different from here, and high on the list of reasons why I need to move to a big city soon.’
    • ‘As the only European to do so he was different from the rest but in other ways he was just the same in that he had a story to tell.’
    • ‘This is very different from the way in which domestic machines were received in the past.’
    • ‘For me it's not that different from producing a painting or performing a piece of music.’
    • ‘It's different from acute medicine in that you do get to know families very well indeed.’
    • ‘He says that life in Bolton is not too different to that in Austria, except for the weather.’
    • ‘Will there come a time when the pain will be less or even different from what it is now?’
    • ‘Needless to say, my idea of a perfect holiday might be different from that of other people.’
    • ‘A carrot grown in one place is going to be different from one grown somewhere else.’
    • ‘The story was a bit different from the traditional tale but it was still cracking!’
    • ‘For all these reasons we have a business cycle that is quite different from the rest of Europe.’
    • ‘This is quite different from Europe, where eating on the slopes will cost you an arm and a leg.’
    • ‘I was an academic and working all the time and that made me different from everyone else.’
    • ‘A good comic book gets into your brain in a manner quite different to a novel or movie.’
    • ‘The new improved model works in a rather different way from the original version.’
    • ‘We had to employ a fresh set of eyes before we set about using a different method to enhance what we had found.’
    • ‘Women are different from men, but it is time to say farewell to the politics of difference.’
    • ‘Competitors who take to the hills to rally originate from many different walks of life.’
    • ‘Huge sums have been won and lost between them and this day would be no different from all the others.’
    dissimilar, unalike, unlike, non-identical, contrasting, divergent, disparate, poles apart
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    1. 1.1informal Novel and unusual.
      ‘try something deliciously different’
      • ‘It is the only element in retail in Bury that makes our town different, even unique.’
      • ‘Of course, the company has always prided itself on being that little bit different.’
      • ‘The food was very different and smelled wonderful.’
      • ‘It was really good, and interesting because the style of food was very different.’
      • ‘‘It's never too late to try something different,’ she said before yesterday's commencement ceremony.’
      unusual, out of the ordinary, uncommon, unfamiliar, rare, unique, novel, new, fresh, original, unprecedented, unconventional, unorthodox, off-centre, atypical, out of the way
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  • 2Distinct; separate.

    ‘on two different occasions’
    • ‘You see Dad getting too tough on occasion and his son struggling to see a different path.’
    • ‘Each type of astrology is looking at an individual life from a different perspective.’
    • ‘When these three very different individuals play teams need to come up with a plan.’
    • ‘Keep raw and cooked foods separate and use different plates and utensils for them.’
    • ‘The machine may rotate around your body to reach the target from different directions.’
    • ‘It is clear that this genus is different and distinct from the two preceding ones.’
    • ‘Traditionally, these two approaches have different theoretical perspectives.’
    • ‘This was a variation on the theme which kept the different aspects of money separate.’
    • ‘The dog, often in conjunction with the skull, points in different directions.’
    • ‘Someone from your doctor's office takes photographs of your face from different angles.’
    • ‘I think we have to be a bit careful in not separating out two quite different things.’
    • ‘Since they are kept at different angles, the pots serve as sound reflectors.’
    • ‘And since the last recession, they've gone in different directions all together.’
    • ‘To start with, it is common to distinguish between two different kinds of validity.’
    • ‘This novel approach means that we need not one law for all but a different one for each individual.’
    • ‘Being a group of individuals, we all had different ways of dealing with the problem.’
    distinct, separate, individual, discrete, non-identical, unrelated, unconnected, unassociated, independent
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Different from, different than, and different to: what are the distinctions between these three constructions, and is one more correct than the others? In practice, different from is both the most common structure and the most accepted. Different than is used chiefly in North America, although its use is increasing in British English. Because it can be followed by a clause, it is sometimes more concise than different from (compare "things are different than they were a year ago" with "things are different from the way they were a year ago"). Different to, although common in Britain, is disliked by traditionalists and sounds peculiar to American ears


  • different strokes for different folks

    • proverb Different things appeal to different people.

      • ‘The above notwithstanding, it would seem that this is an obvious case of different strokes for different folks.’
      • ‘So, generally, I put chocolate Easter eggs in the list of things that are different strokes for different folks.’
      • ‘His wife is tattooed as a cat - different strokes for different folks.’
      • ‘It's not the way I like to handle these guys, but different strokes for different folks.’
      • ‘That was my decision though, and for other people it might not be right, different strokes for different folks and all that.’
      • ‘Creative ambiguity, economy with the truth, or is it just a case of different strokes for different folks?’
      • ‘This colourful, vibrant, thriving city has different strokes for different folks.’
      • ‘Well, who am I to judge… different strokes for different folks, I guess!’
      • ‘Then it hit me: it's just different strokes for different folks.’
      • ‘There were different strokes for different folks.’


Late Middle English: via Old French from Latin different- carrying away, differing from the verb differre (see differ).