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)

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective But early in his career, Strahan’s ideas of impact and value were different. Julian Benbow, BostonGlobe.com, 3 Aug. 2022 This time around things are different, Bibi's keepers say. Terry Demio, The Enquirer, 2 Aug. 2022 The camera module on the back will be different, as the cheaper iPhone 14 models will not feature three cameras. Chris Smith, BGR, 2 Aug. 2022 The calculation this season, however, was different. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, 2 Aug. 2022 However, something is different in 2022 compared to the 2010 or 2014 midterms or even 2020, when Democrats lost House seats even as their president candidate was winning. Michael Tomasky, The New Republic, 1 Aug. 2022 Sutherland and Caballé were very different, both as singers and as women. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, 1 Aug. 2022 Our top picks cover most use cases and are the best choices for most people, but your needs may be different. Scott Gilbertson, Wired, 1 Aug. 2022 The Balkan nations are all in different stages of the EU accession process. Konstantin Testorides, ajc, 31 July 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About different

Time Traveler for different

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near different



different animal

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for different

Last Updated

6 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Different.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/different. Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for different


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


Test Your Vocabulary

Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!