adjective dif·fer·ent \ˈdi-fərnt, ˈdi-f(ə-)rənt\

Definition of different

  1. 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. Stevenson vastly different in size than it was twenty-five years ago — N. M. Pusey a very different situation to the … one under which we live — Sir Winston Churchill

  2. 2 :  not the same: such asa :  distinct different age groupsb :  various different members of the classc :  another switched to a different TV program

  3. 3 :  unusual, special she was different and superior



Is it different than or different from?

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

  1. The two brothers could not have been more different.

  2. We need to try an entirely different approach.

  3. They met with each other on several different occasions.

  4. advertising that tries to be different

  5. That movie certainly was different.

  6. He has a very different style of dressing.

Recent Examples of different from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of different

Middle English, from Latin different-, differens, present participle of differre —see differ

Synonym Discussion of 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



adverb dif·fer·ent \ˈdi-fərnt, ˈdi-f(ə-)rənt\

Definition of different

Origin and Etymology of different

see 1different

DIFFERENT Defined for English Language Learners



Definition of different for English Language Learners

  • : not of the same kind : partly or totally unlike

  • : not the same

  • : not ordinary or common

DIFFERENT Defined for Kids


adjective dif·fer·ent \ˈdi-fə-rənt, ˈdi-frənt\

Definition of different for Students

  1. 1 :  not of the same kind They come from different backgrounds.

  2. 2 :  not the same We went to different schools.

  3. 3 :  not ordinary That movie was certainly different.



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to fight against or to call in question

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