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’
    ‘this land seemed different than the rest’
    • ‘The story was a bit different from the traditional tale but it was still cracking!’
    • ‘It's different from acute medicine in that you do get to know families very well indeed.’
    • ‘When you move away you do feel different as a person because it is a fresh start.’
    • ‘I was an academic and working all the time and that made me different from everyone else.’
    • ‘A carrot grown in one place is going to be different from one grown somewhere else.’
    • ‘For all these reasons we have a business cycle that is quite different from the rest of Europe.’
    • ‘Needless to say, my idea of a perfect holiday might be different from that of other people.’
    • ‘We had to employ a fresh set of eyes before we set about using a different method to enhance what we had found.’
    • ‘The new improved model works in a rather different way from the original version.’
    • ‘This is quite different from Europe, where eating on the slopes will cost you an arm and a leg.’
    • ‘Competitors who take to the hills to rally originate from many different walks of life.’
    • ‘Women are different from men, but it is time to say farewell to the politics of difference.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Huge sums have been won and lost between them and this day would be no different from all the others.’
    • ‘A good comic book gets into your brain in a manner quite different to a novel or movie.’
    • ‘For me it's not that different from producing a painting or performing a piece of music.’
    • ‘He says that life in Bolton is not too different to that in Austria, except for the weather.’
    • ‘This is very different from the way in which domestic machines were received in the past.’
    • ‘Will there come a time when the pain will be less or even different from what it is now?’
    • ‘It's very different from here, and high on the list of reasons why I need to move to a big city soon.’
    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.’
      • ‘‘It's never too late to try something different,’ she said before yesterday's commencement ceremony.’
      • ‘The food was very different and smelled wonderful.’
      • ‘It was really good, and interesting because the style of food was very different.’
      • ‘Of course, the company has always prided itself on being that little bit different.’
      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’
    • ‘The dog, often in conjunction with the skull, points in different directions.’
    • ‘I think we have to be a bit careful in not separating out two quite different things.’
    • ‘Each type of astrology is looking at an individual life from a different perspective.’
    • ‘And since the last recession, they've gone in different directions all together.’
    • ‘Traditionally, these two approaches have different theoretical perspectives.’
    • ‘Someone from your doctor's office takes photographs of your face from different angles.’
    • ‘To start with, it is common to distinguish between two different kinds of validity.’
    • ‘Since they are kept at different angles, the pots serve as sound reflectors.’
    • ‘It is clear that this genus is different and distinct from the two preceding ones.’
    • ‘You see Dad getting too tough on occasion and his son struggling to see a different path.’
    • ‘This novel approach means that we need not one law for all but a different one for each individual.’
    • ‘The machine may rotate around your body to reach the target from different directions.’
    • ‘This was a variation on the theme which kept the different aspects of money separate.’
    • ‘Keep raw and cooked foods separate and use different plates and utensils for them.’
    • ‘Being a group of individuals, we all had different ways of dealing with the problem.’
    • ‘When these three very different individuals play teams need to come up with a plan.’
    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.

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


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