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 tosmall, 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 The rhetoric of race in Latin America is different from our own, of course, but its history, and the ways blood and money operate, are familiar. Calvin Baker, The Atlantic, "A Literary Movement Unto Herself," 2 Aug. 2020 Weiss told Maher that illiberalism, defined as intolerance, is different than criticism. Rasha Ali, USA TODAY, "Bill Maher talks cancel culture and John Lewis with authors of Harper's open 'letter on justice'," 2 Aug. 2020 What makes interscholastic athletics programs different than non-school programs? Scott Springer, The Enquirer, "OHSAA releases Q&A answering questions on fall sports starting Aug. 1," 1 Aug. 2020 Existing homes were built and designed to someone else’s standard and taste, which is bound to be different from yours. John Nugent, Houston Chronicle, "Realtor View: Weigh the benefits of new vs. existing home," 1 Aug. 2020 Back in the original house, one spot is quite different from Derrick’s design. Judy Rose, Detroit Free Press, "$1.25M Grosse Pointe Farms mansion has roof you don't see often," 1 Aug. 2020 Satya’s approach is radically different from other teacher training programs: over eight months, each cohort learns the fundamentals of yoga as a tool for healing and liberation. Raksha Vasudevan, Outside Online, "This Yoga Co-Op Is Diversifying Teacher Training," 31 July 2020 The production will be different from Hamilton, however, which was a recording of a stage performance. Nicholas Rice, PEOPLE.com, "Disney+ to Follow-Up Hamilton with Once on This Island Musical Adaptation," 31 July 2020 Both institutions recognize that virtual performances are vastly different from in-person experiences for audience members and performers. Dallas News, "The professor and the dancer: How an unlikely duo is helping Dallas cultural institutions create safe plans for reopening during COVID-19," 31 July 2020

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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Statistics for different

Last Updated

5 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Different.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/different. Accessed 15 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for different


How to pronounce different (audio)

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

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Comments on different

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