dif·​fer·​ent | \ ˈdi-f(ə-)rənt How to pronounce different (audio) , ˈdi-fərnt \

Definition of different

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : 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 characters— R. L. Stevensonvastly different in size than it was twenty-five years ago— N. M. Puseya very different situation to the … one under which we live— Sir Winston Churchill
2 : not the same: such as
a : distinct different age groups
b : various different members of the class
c : another switched to a different TV program
3 : unusual, special she was different and superior



Definition of different (Entry 2 of 2)

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Other Words from different


differentness noun

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

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.

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Playing with girls here is way different than playing against girls from teams on the (reservation). Dana Scott, The Arizona Republic, 22 July 2021 Still, things look remarkably different than years past. Joshua Berlinger, CNN, 22 July 2021 Several noted that the situation now is much different than in 2019, when former Councilmember Barbara Hamilton resigned with three years left in her term as the first District 1 representative. Phil Diehl, San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 July 2021 Viewing increased among viewers aged 18-to-49, an indication that the network's audience composition was different than typical weeks. David Bauder, ajc, 20 July 2021 Viewing increased among viewers aged 18-to-49, an indication that the network's audience composition was different than typical weeks. David Bauder, Star Tribune, 20 July 2021 What passed muster even a decade ago is different than what works today. Steve Strauss, USA TODAY, 20 July 2021 And those wristwatches couldn’t be more different than the brands that make them—Timex and Cartier. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, 19 July 2021 Your holiday ensembles can look a bit different than your day-to-day uniform, especially in the summertime, when playful dressing is at an all-time high. Rachel Besser, Vogue, 19 July 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'different.' 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 different


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1588, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for different


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

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Time Traveler for different

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near different



different animal

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Statistics for different

Last Updated

25 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Different.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/different. Accessed 30 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for different



English Language Learners Definition of different

: not of the same kind : partly or totally unlike
: not the same
: not ordinary or common


dif·​fer·​ent | \ ˈdi-fə-rənt How to pronounce different (audio) , ˈdi-frənt \

Kids Definition of different

1 : not of the same kind They come from different backgrounds.
2 : not the same We went to different schools.
3 : not ordinary That movie was certainly different.

Other Words from different

differently adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on different

Nglish: Translation of different for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of different for Arabic Speakers


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