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difference

[dif-er-uh ns, dif-ruh ns] /ˈdɪf ər əns, ˈdɪf rəns/
noun
1.
the state or relation of being different; dissimilarity:
There is a great difference between the two.
2.
an instance or point of unlikeness or dissimilarity:
What accounts for the differences in their behavior?
3.
a significant change in or effect on a situation:
His tact makes a difference in the way people accept his suggestions.
4.
a distinguishing characteristic; distinctive quality, feature, etc.:
The difference in the two products is quality.
5.
the degree to which one person or thing differs from another.
6.
the act of distinguishing; discrimination; distinction.
7.
a disagreement in opinion.
8.
a dispute or quarrel.
9.
Also called finite distance. Mathematics.
  1. the amount by which one quantity is greater or less than another.
  2. relative complement.
  3. (of a function f) an expression of the form f (x + h) − f (x).
10.
a differentia.
verb (used with object), differenced, differencing.
11.
to cause or constitute a difference in or between; make different.
12.
to perceive the difference in or between; discriminate.
Idioms
13.
split the difference,
  1. to compromise, especially to make equal concessions.
  2. to divide the remainder equally:
    Let's take half of the cake and let the three of them split the difference.
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English (< Anglo-French) < Latin differentia, equivalent to different- carrying different ways (see different) + -ia -ia; see -ence
Synonyms
1. inconsistency, variation, diversity, imbalance, inequality, divergence, contrast, contrariety. Difference, discrepancy, disparity, dissimilarity imply perceivable unlikeness, variation, or diversity. Difference refers to a lack of identity or a degree of unlikeness: a difference of opinion; a difference of six inches. Discrepancy usually refers to an inconsistency between things that should agree, balance, or harmonize: a discrepancy between the statements of two witnesses. Disparity implies inequality, often where a greater equality might reasonably be expected: a great disparity between the ages of husband and wife. Dissimilarity indicates an essential lack of resemblance between things in some respect comparable: a dissimilarity between social customs in Asia and America. 6. See distinction.
Antonyms
1. similarity, agreement.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for difference
  • The differences between the two sites, though, are as important any putative similarities.
  • You can help us make a difference.
  • It reinforces our conviction that strategic investments can make a huge difference in poor people's lives.
  • The difference is important, in part because it's a lot easier to change expectations than it is workload.
  • In reality, most people these days grill rather than barbecue—and the difference between the two could not be greater.
  • Here she talks about how kids can make a difference too.
  • What is the difference between a microfracture and a stress fracture? .
  • To paraphrase Twain, it is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.
  • But it didn't make any difference whatsoever.
  • All these examples of difference can raise difficult personal questions and in some cases legal questions.
British Dictionary definitions for difference

difference

/ˈdɪfərəns; ˈdɪfrəns/
noun
1.
the state or quality of being unlike
2.
a specific instance of being unlike
3.
a distinguishing mark or feature
4.
a significant change in a situation: the difference in her is amazing
5.
a disagreement or argument: he had a difference with his wife
6.
a degree of distinctness, as between two people or things
7.
  1. the result of the subtraction of one number, quantity, etc, from another
  2. the single number that when added to the subtrahend gives the minuend; remainder
8.
(logic) another name for differentia
9.
(maths, of two sets)
  1. the set of members of the first that are not members of the second A – B
  2. symmetric difference, the set of members of one but not both of the given sets Often symbolized A + B
10.
(heraldry) an addition to the arms of a family to represent a younger branch
11.
make a difference
  1. to have an effect
  2. to treat differently
12.
split the difference
  1. to settle a dispute by a compromise
  2. to divide a remainder equally
13.
with a difference, with some peculiarly distinguishing quality, good or bad
verb (transitive)
14.
(rare) to distinguish
15.
(heraldry) to add a charge to (arms) to differentiate a branch of a family
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for difference
n.

mid-14c., from Old French difference (12c.) "difference, distinction; argument, dispute," from Latin differentia "diversity, difference," from differentem (nominative differens), present participle of differre "to set apart" (see differ). Sense of "a quarrel" first attested late 14c. Colloquial phrase what's the diff? first recorded 1896.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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difference in Medicine

difference dif·fer·ence (dĭf'ər-əns, dĭf'rəns)
n.
The magnitude or degree by which one quantity differs from another of the same kind.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for difference

difference

Related Terms

the same difference


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with difference

difference

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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