differ

verb
dif·​fer | \ ˈdi-fər How to pronounce differ (audio) \
differed; differing\ ˈdi-​f(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce differing (audio) \

Definition of differ

intransitive verb

1a : to be unlike or distinct in nature, form, or characteristics the law of one state differs from that of another
b : to change from time to time or from one instance to another : vary the number of cookies in a box may differ
2 : to be of unlike or opposite opinion : disagree they differ on religious matters I beg to differ with your interpretation.

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Synonyms & Antonyms for differ

Synonyms

contrast, vary

Antonyms

compare, match

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Examples of differ in a Sentence

The two schools differ in their approach to discipline. my brother and I differ markedly in the way we handle money

Recent Examples on the Web

Though our objects of affection will differ, all of us have experienced this miraculous coup de foudre, the instant of profound communion with a work of art. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: Gallery Talks and Lucid Dreams," 19 Apr. 2019 Their setup will differ from our state’s in some big ways after lawmakers made Canada the second country in the world to legalize pot. Morning Brief, The Seattle Times, "Summer solstice is here and Trump’s halt to family separations brings confusion, big questions | Thursday Morning Brief, June 21," 22 June 2018 The degree to which the audience buys into what ensues will differ with each viewer’s threshold for disbelief. Ann Hornaday, kansascity, "In terrifying ‘Hereditary,’ past horrors haunt a dysfunctional family," 7 June 2018 While the stamp images will differ, the smell will be the same for all of them. Natasha Bach, Fortune, "The U.S. Postal Service Is Giving Us the Scratch-and-Sniff Stamps We Never Asked For," 22 May 2018 Bilal Nichols recognizes exciting possibilities for him in the Bears scheme Nichols’ responsibilities at end and tackle on the Bears defensive / line will significantly differ in some ways from what he was asked to do at Delaware. Rich Campbell, chicagotribune.com, "Roquan Smith's intangibles leave strong first impression at Bears rookie minicamp," 13 May 2018 Boys involved in Scouts through a Mormon church in rural Utah work on the same programs, with the same goals as boys participating in scouts through a YMCA in the Bronx, but the culture within those two example troops will obviously differ. Wes Siler, Outside Online, "In Breakup with Boy Scouts, It’s Mormons Who Lose," 10 May 2018 While some bridal salons aren't yet equipped to offer a wide range of sizing options, the process of getting a dress made-to-order doesn't differ based on a woman's size at Christian Siriano. Heather Hall, Harper's BAZAAR, "From Bridal Salons to Custom Gowns, Here's Where Size Inclusivity Stands in the Bridal Industry," 19 Apr. 2019 The members of the EliteBook lineup differ by screen size. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "HP's EliteBook 800 G6 notebook series adds convenience, privacy features," 16 Apr. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'differ.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of differ

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for differ

Middle English differren, differen, borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French differer "to be different," borrowed (with conjugational change) from Latin differre "to carry away in varying directions, spread abroad, postpone, delay, be unlike or distinct," from dif-, assimilated form of dis- dis- + ferre "to carry, convey"

Note: The meanings of Latin differre, in particular the sense "to be unlike or distinct," copy those of Greek diaphérein, formed with the cognate verb phérein "to carry.' English differ is not distinct etymologically from defer entry 1; the two were originally variants with stress on either the first or last syllable, with the meanings "delay" and "be unlike" eventually being restricted to one of the two variants.

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Statistics for differ

Last Updated

23 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for differ

The first known use of differ was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for differ

differ

verb

English Language Learners Definition of differ

: to be different
: to have opinions that don't agree

differ

verb
dif·​fer | \ ˈdi-fər How to pronounce differ (audio) \
differed; differing

Kids Definition of differ

1 : to be unlike : be different “And so, as we differ from all ordinary people, let us become friends.”— L. Frank Baum, The Marvelous Land of Oz
2 : disagree sense 1 We differ on how best to proceed.

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More from Merriam-Webster on differ

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for differ

Spanish Central: Translation of differ

Nglish: Translation of differ for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of differ for Arabic Speakers

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