Definition of different in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈdif(ə)rənt/


1Not the same as another or each other; unlike in nature, form, or quality: you can play this game in different ways (different from/than) the car is different from anything else on the market
More example sentences
  • It's very different from here, and high on the list of reasons why I need to move to a big city soon.
  • Needless to say, my idea of a perfect holiday might be different from that of other people.
  • Women are different from men, but it is time to say farewell to the politics of difference.
dissimilar, unalike, unlike, contrasting, contrastive, divergent, differing, varying, disparate;
poles apart, incompatible, mismatched, conflicting, clashing
1.1 informal Novel and unusual: try something deliciously different
More example sentences
  • It is the only element in retail in Bury that makes our town different, even unique.
  • Of course, the company has always prided itself on being that little bit different.
  • ‘It's never too late to try something different,’ she said before yesterday's commencement ceremony.
unusual, out of the ordinary, unfamiliar, novel, new, fresh, original, unconventional, exotic, uncommon
2Distinct; separate: on two different occasions
More example sentences
  • This was a variation on the theme which kept the different aspects of money separate.
  • I think we have to be a bit careful in not separating out two quite different things.
  • To start with, it is common to distinguish between two different kinds of validity.
distinct, separate, individual, discrete, independent


Different from, different than, and different to: what are the distinctions between these three constructions, and is one more correct than the others? In practice, different from is both the most common structure and the most accepted. Different than is used chiefly in North America, although its use is increasing in British English. Because it can be followed by a clause, it is sometimes more concise than different from (compare "things are different than they were a year ago" with "things are different from the way they were a year ago"). Different to, although common in Britain, is disliked by traditionalists and sounds peculiar to American ears.


different strokes for different folks

proverb Different things appeal to different people.
Example sentences
  • Then it hit me: it's just different strokes for different folks.
  • Creative ambiguity, economy with the truth, or is it just a case of different strokes for different folks?
  • His wife is tattooed as a cat - different strokes for different folks.



Example sentences
  • ‘Diversity,’ in effect, has become a veil for positing the fundamental differentness of people based on their race or sex, rather than suggesting something altogether different - the removal of barriers that separate.
  • Being treated as slaves or second-class citizens on the basis of a racist ideology, they opposed racist value judgements but accepted the essential differentness of races.
  • The differentness of ‘immigrated religions’ must therefore be accepted.


Late Middle English: via Old French from Latin different- 'carrying away, differing', from the verb differre (see differ).

  • The word different came ultimately from a form of Latin differre, which meant both ‘defer’ and ‘differ’ in Latin, and is also the source of these two words in English. The modern proverb different strokes for different folks is of US origin. It came to prominence in newspaper reports of comments made by Muhammad Ali about his knockout punches in fights with Sonny Liston, Floyd Patterson, and Karl Mildenberger during the 1960s. In the saying strokes means ‘comforting gestures of approval or congratulation’, but Ali was making a pun on the word's other meaning, ‘blows’.

Words that rhyme with different


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: dif·fer·ent

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