Definition of difference in English:

difference

noun

  • 1A point or way in which people or things are dissimilar.

    ‘the differences between men and women’
    • ‘Structural differences between the various drugs account for the differences in the potential side effects.’
    • ‘The differences between the present study and prior work likely represent differences in patient selection.’
    • ‘Therefore differences between the experiments could be attributed to differences in genetic background of the species that are not shared.’
    • ‘The differences between them arise as a result of the differences in strength and density of oceanic and continental lithosphere.’
    • ‘These differences between the two inbred lines may reflect differences in their origin.’
    • ‘The cognitive differences in turn stem from biological differences between males and females.’
    • ‘Differences between the two industries in their business organisation were mirrored by differences in labour relations.’
    • ‘Once we start to look at the differences between ourselves and chimps it'll undoubtedly be the differences in these control sequences we'll be interested in.’
    • ‘The differences in circumstances of states within the groups of developed and developing states are in many ways as great as the differences between these groups.’
    • ‘I love all the differences between people in different parts of the country.’
    • ‘The artist ventures to expose the inherent differences in the equation between the strong and the weak, and in the process makes no secret of his bias for the underdog.’
    • ‘Differences in society, differences in religious belief and identity are not necessarily a bad thing.’
    • ‘There are socio-economic differences between the generations of my family.’
    • ‘But there was one crucial difference from all the other appeals I'd received.’
    • ‘‘One difference from last season is that we have a greater aerial threat,’ he says.’
    • ‘We will operate within it, of course, but anyone who watches us won't notice any difference from what we were doing this time last year.’
    • ‘One other positive difference from two weeks ago is that the police will have better forensic evidence which they can use.’
    • ‘Another marked difference from the past is the attitude towards marriage.’
    • ‘The most noticeable difference from last time was the lack of the big windows.’
    • ‘The first major difference from a billiard table is that one end is rounded instead of square.’
    dissimilarity, contrast, distinction, distinctness, differentiation
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1mass noun The state or condition of being dissimilar.
      ‘their difference from one another’
      • ‘There is in America a sense of distance from other nations, and of difference from them, which has been long remarked and debated.’
      • ‘The question then becomes: how can we free difference from these normative connotations?’
      • ‘A quick click on my archives, and I find that there's not much difference from last Christmas.’
      • ‘The music is an odd blend of soft feminine jazzy folk-rock, with little difference from song to song.’
      • ‘Judging by my experience of American culinary habits, they will notice no difference from home cooking.’
      • ‘Tactics books are readily available, and in many instances there isn't a lot of difference from one to the next.’
      • ‘Certainly, you can think that there is no difference from other sports when you refer to the rules of the game.’
      • ‘It's a world of difference from last year, when I could only hope to turn a few heads.’
      • ‘I had never driven a 4X4 before but you don't notice any difference from a normal car except for the height.’
      • ‘In truth I could not notice much difference from my seat near the front.’
      • ‘There is a world of difference from succeeding in South Africa to competing in Bangladesh.’
      • ‘The ugly body is thus a body whose difference from the normal body is turned into deviance.’
      • ‘The attractive power of the church of God lies in its distinctiveness and difference from the world.’
      • ‘But for the boy, a transformation has to be achieved to an awareness of an identity based on difference from the mother.’
      • ‘Well, in point of fact, there's very little difference from its ideological stance.’
      • ‘As someone who has lived in both, I can assure you that there is a world of difference between the two conditions.’
      • ‘Even more importantly, the new government's policies so far show little difference from those of the old.’
      • ‘An election is coming and this is beginning to look like the issue the incumbents can use to show their difference from the opposition.’
      • ‘We retreat into our irony cages when we feel threatened by our difference from other people.’
    2. 1.2A quantity by which amounts differ; the remainder left after subtraction of one value from another.
      ‘the insurance company will pay the difference’
      • ‘If the antecedent is more true than the consequent, then the conditional is less than the maximal truth by the difference between their values.’
      • ‘The difference between the expected value and the certainty equivalent is the risk premium for the gamble.’
      • ‘It is claimed that there remains a substantial difference between that sum and the full amount of the loss.’
      • ‘The difference of the total amount which is K67 million is what the community has given in terms of labour and materials.’
      • ‘The gap, when taken over the full five years would amount to a total difference of about 7.7%.’
      • ‘The Department of Labour examined data from 2001 when the pay difference was 40 percent.’
      • ‘The difference in wages remained constant, not increasing over time.’
      • ‘For each pixel, find the difference in intensity between each of its neighbors, then sum the absolute value of those differences.’
      • ‘Simple arithmetic will yield the difference between these two amounts.’
      • ‘Quantitatively, the dollar amount differences are shown in Table 4.’
      • ‘Each matrix was constructed by subtracting the differences in values between populations.’
      • ‘However, the 9 percent difference in speed has remained constant over the years.’
      • ‘Or alternatively, will the difference in real value and actual rental paid be deducted from his salary?’
      • ‘All of the previously observed statistical differences remained when the data were corrected for percentage activation.’
      • ‘The index of divergence is expressed in the sum of the absolute value of the differences for all industries.’
      • ‘He notices that It looks like the differences seem to be ‘copying’ the Fibonacci series in the tens and in the units columns.’
      • ‘However, the values of energy differences are overestimated.’
      • ‘Whenever differences are observed, values are tabulated separately for contact lipids.’
      • ‘The clinical relevance of weighted mean differences and P values, however, is not obvious.’
      • ‘He was paid a settlement of salary difference from last April to November on top of three months' salary in lieu of notice.’
      balance, outstanding amount, remaining amount, remainder, rest, residue, excess, extra
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3Heraldry An alteration in a coat of arms to distinguish members or branches of a family.
      ‘Secondly, it assumes coat armour to be hereditary in the male lines of a family, with differences to distinguish cadet branches.’
  • 2A disagreement, quarrel, or dispute.

    ‘the couple are patching up their differences’
    • ‘Naturally, we will have our differences and our disputes, but we must be especially wary of the tendency to cast them in terms of a fictitious religious strife.’
    • ‘Governments are often beset by internal divisions and dispute, but such differences have traditionally been over politics or policy.’
    • ‘In a voluntary society like the church we rely heavily on the ties that bind us together as the body of Christ as a way of resolving our differences and disputes.’
    • ‘Do you ever find yourselves playing out other differences or disagreements you may have with each other through the football difference between you?’
    • ‘They just seem to be able to deal with differences and disagreements in ways that don't interfere with getting the job done.’
    • ‘We can imagine a private quarrel between two people or two groups whose differences are based upon misunderstandings.’
    • ‘Another disagreement is on the more obvious public level: regional disagreements and differences over ancestral origin.’
    • ‘He goes on to list disagreements and differences of opinion among priests on all these topics.’
    • ‘All disputes or differences arising out of this contract which cannot be amicably resolved shall be referred to arbitration in London.’
    • ‘The Army and the Navy were not able to solve their differences during World War II.’
    • ‘Ending three decades of enmity, the two visionaries shelved Cold War differences to unite against a growing Soviet threat.’
    • ‘Let's keep the psychology and rhetoric of argument in mind while we debate our differences.’
    • ‘No doubt, these differences will be patched up, and then, perhaps in a year's time, we the Irish people will be asked to vote on this Constitution.’
    • ‘They seem to have patched up their differences, now, though.’
    • ‘They've patched up their differences now though, meeting in Brisbane today.’
    • ‘Family quarrels and personal differences, too, often have a hefty measure of the same thing.’
    • ‘The couple have been together seven years and married in October last year after patching up their differences.’
    • ‘Even if the two of them patch up their differences for public consumption, they have surely gone past the point of no return.’
    • ‘The battles between the British kids and their Gibraltarian counterparts of Spanish ethnic origin had nothing to do with political differences over the war, he says.’
    • ‘It puts the House and the Senate in sharp conflict over the issue of immigration and sets up a fierce battle over resolving their differences.’
    disagreement, difference of opinion, misunderstanding, dispute, disputation, argument, debate, quarrel, wrangle, altercation, contretemps, clash, controversy, dissension
    View synonyms

verb

[with object]Heraldry
  • Alter (a coat of arms) to distinguish members or branches of a family.

Phrases

    make a (or no) difference
    • Have a significant effect (or no effect) on a person or situation.

      ‘the Act will make no difference to my business’
      • ‘It simply makes no difference how well the situation there goes over the next year.’
      • ‘The awareness campaigns have made a difference but the situation is far from ideal.’
      • ‘It will make no difference to the situation we find ourselves in.’
      • ‘So, I do not think that a different design would have significantly made a difference.’
      • ‘It is not an executive role, but it matters because it can make a difference.’
      • ‘Even the proprietors and editors who did not want devolution to succeed can no longer claim the parliament is doing nothing or making no difference.’
      • ‘If it is not, it will unfairly brand staff as failures while making no difference to the quality of service.’
      • ‘Although the project was only officially launched last February there is already evidence that its methods are making a difference.’
      • ‘She paid tribute to women's groups, who were making a difference in women's lives.’
      • ‘Using the entry form printed here, send us your nominations for community heroes who are making a difference.’
    with a difference
    • Having a new or unusual feature or treatment.

      ‘a fashion show with a difference’
      • ‘I believe the next exhibition will feature kids art presented with a difference.’
      • ‘This is fun fashion with a difference, with categories on cartoon characters.’
      • ‘It's a fashion parade with a difference, where the garments are everyday psychoses.’
      • ‘For an autumn break with a difference, head for the Faroe Islands.’
      • ‘He is back with more songs, a new outlook and a band with a difference.’
      • ‘It's a racing game with a difference; the first to take advantage of inter-platform dependence.’
      • ‘Nineteen Bolton teenagers are set for a school trip with a difference - delivering aid in Africa.’
      • ‘Yes, this one indeed promises to be a pottery exhibition with a difference.’
      • ‘The organisers are looking for volunteer men who will dress in drag for a Beauty Pageant with a difference.’
      • ‘Guests are always more than welcome, so if you do feel like an evening out with a difference, do come along and join us.’

Origin

Middle English via Old French from Latin differentia (see differentia).

Pronunciation

difference

/ˈdɪf(ə)r(ə)ns/