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dif·​fer·​ent ˈdi-f(ə-)rənt How to pronounce different (audio)
: partly or totally unlike in nature, form, or quality : dissimilar
could hardly be more different
often followed by from, than, or chiefly British to
small, neat hand, very different from the captain's tottery charactersR. L. Stevenson
vastly different in size than it was twenty-five years agoN. M. Pusey
a very different situation to the … one under which we liveSir Winston Churchill
: not the same: such as
: distinct
different age groups
: various
different members of the class
: another
switched to a different TV program
: unusual, special
she was different and superior
differentness noun
Is it different than or different from?: Usage Guide

Numerous commentators have condemned different than in spite of its use since the 17th century by many of the best-known names in English literature. It is nevertheless standard and is even recommended in many handbooks when followed by a clause, because insisting on from in such instances often produces clumsy or wordy formulations. Different from, the generally safe choice, is more common especially when it is followed by a noun or pronoun.


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Choose the Right Synonym for different

different, diverse, divergent, disparate, various mean unlike in kind or character.

different may imply little more than separateness but it may also imply contrast or contrariness.

different foods

diverse implies both distinctness and marked contrast.

such diverse interests as dancing and football

divergent implies movement away from each other and unlikelihood of ultimate meeting or reconciliation.

went on to pursue divergent careers

disparate emphasizes incongruity or incompatibility.

disparate notions of freedom

various stresses the number of sorts or kinds.

tried various methods

Examples of different in a Sentence

Adjective The two brothers could not have been more different. We need to try an entirely different approach. They met with each other on several different occasions. advertising that tries to be different That movie certainly was different. He has a very different style of dressing. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Related But planning to perform in stadiums and actually performing are two very different things. Leila Cobo, Billboard, 7 Dec. 2023 Ferro says advertisers have expanded access to programmatic biddable inventory across 30 different demand-side platforms that give access to both national and local-market advertisers. Brian Steinberg, Variety, 7 Dec. 2023 Even a life-changing setback can, with courage and love, turn into an opportunity to forge a different path forward. Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter, 7 Dec. 2023 All look similar but offer different performance levels. Angus MacKenzie, Robb Report, 7 Dec. 2023 One-quarter of the way through the Clippers’ season, taking stock of the team is like looking into a funhouse mirror — each glance revealing something different, even contradictory. Andrew Greif, Los Angeles Times, 7 Dec. 2023 Indeed, numerous Vestris passengers, including the captain of a different ship, supported Licorish’s version of events. Erica Westly, Smithsonian Magazine, 7 Dec. 2023 The current status quo—a mix of different vehicle types for different needs—could persist and push us into a world in which hybrids don’t do enough to mitigate our carbon problem. Patrick George, The Atlantic, 7 Dec. 2023 For those looking for different charging speeds, various size options, or even higher battery power, there are plenty of other options still on sale at Amazon for Black Friday. Taylor Fox, Travel + Leisure, 25 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'different.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin different-, differens, present participle of differre "to carry in varying directions, delay, differ"


derivative of different entry 1

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1588, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of different was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near different

Cite this Entry

“Different.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/different. Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: not of the same kind : partly or totally unlike another
this apple is different from the others in size and color
: not the same : other, separate
see the same person at different times
differently adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on different

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