dis·​sim·​i·​lar (ˌ)di(s)-ˈsi-mə-lər How to pronounce dissimilar (audio)
: not the same or similar : different or unalike
people with dissimilar backgrounds
dissimilar materials
The responsibilities of the resident were not dissimilar to those of the intern …James D. Hardy
dissimilarly adverb

Examples of dissimilar in a Sentence

The two movies are very dissimilar. The writers have dissimilar backgrounds. The question is not dissimilar to one asked earlier.
Recent Examples on the Web While broad and superficial similarities may be detected between 2024 and 1948, the two cases are in fact quite dissimilar, especially in the conventional wisdom that pre-election polls generate and reinforce. W. Joseph Campbell, Fortune, 5 Apr. 2024 Prosecutors pushed back, however, arguing that the two cases were dissimilar. Variety, NBC News, 29 Mar. 2024 Japan played South Korea both times, but Darvish said the atmospheres were entirely dissimilar. Dylan Hernández, Los Angeles Times, 18 Mar. 2024 State’s games in four days — a huge part of a run not too dissimilar from the magical, redemptive one the Wolfpack punctuated a few days ago. Alex Zietlow, Charlotte Observer, 22 Mar. 2024 Investigating one of the Flame's hideouts reveals drawings of red humanoid figures with white eyes and fangs — not so dissimilar from the Carnage of the comics. EW.com, 27 Oct. 2023 Etsy Etsy is a more specific example of another company brought up a bunch of times by justices (other dissimilar companies were also brought up such as Uber and FedEx). Laura Bratton, Quartz, 28 Feb. 2024 Asked to comment on Hendrix’s musical legacy recently, Chapman inadvertently illustrated the similarities between the two trailblazers whose music is so dissimilar and yet surprisingly alike in at least one key way. George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 Feb. 2024 South Africa is spearheading the charge against Israel out of a sense of historic commitment to the Palestinian people, who, South African officials contend, are subject to a regime of 21st century apartheid not wholly dissimilar to what existed in 20th century South Africa. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, 26 Jan. 2024

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

Word History


borrowed from New Latin dissimilāris, from Latin dis- dis- + Medieval Latin similāris similar

First Known Use

1599, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of dissimilar was in 1599

Dictionary Entries Near dissimilar

Cite this Entry

“Dissimilar.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dissimilar. Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


dis·​sim·​i·​lar (ˈ)dis-ˈ(s)im-ə-lər How to pronounce dissimilar (audio)
dissimilarly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on dissimilar

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