dis·​sim·​i·​lar·​i·​ty (ˌ)di(s)-ˌsi-mə-ˈler-ə-tē How to pronounce dissimilarity (audio)
plural dissimilarities
: the quality or state of being dissimilar : difference in appearance or nature
… a recurrent trope in Hanks's stories is stressing the dissimilarity of life to cinema: lovers worry that they have become "like characters in a movie"; siblings close in age refuse to dress "like twins in some movie".Mark Lawson
Whatever their dissimilarities, neither Stalin nor Khrushchev nor Brezhnev wanted a war with the United States.John Lewis Gaddis
The exhibition looks past any superficial dissimilarities between the two and instead focus on what makes each a great photographer: the willingness to follow the story and get the right shot.The Huffington Post

Examples of dissimilarity in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The underlying grayscale dissimilarity matrices represent the Euclidean distances between each pair of models, used as inputs to k-means clustering. Neuroskeptic, Discover Magazine, 20 Apr. 2012 However, due to their structural dissimilarity, their interactions with these receptors differ slightly. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 10 July 2023 Recognizing the dissimilarities between delta 8 THC and marijuana is crucial when discussing drug testing outcomes. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 24 June 2023 Specifically, the output of the game helps identify regions of DNA with significant dissimilarity from one another. Sheetal R. Modi, Discover Magazine, 25 Sep. 2014 By 2010, the dissimilarity index had declined to 70%—an improvement, but far from the integrated society that civil-rights activists may have hoped for 60 years ago (see chart). The Economist, 4 June 2020 In contrast, the Asian models show considerable model dissimilarity within each emotion category and overlap between categories. Neuroskeptic, Discover Magazine, 20 Apr. 2012 Katz compares it to the dissimilarities between natural ecosystems like a rainforest versus a desert, swamp, or lake: All of them play host to their own singular species. Fiorella Valdesolo, Vogue, 24 Mar. 2023 Their dissimilarity to the majority of USAF front line fighters was regarded as a teachable element. Eric Tegler, Forbes, 22 June 2022 See More

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

Word History


dissimilar + -ity, after similarity

First Known Use

1650, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of dissimilarity was in 1650

Dictionary Entries Near dissimilarity

Cite this Entry

“Dissimilarity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dissimilarity. Accessed 27 Sep. 2023.

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