American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The quality or condition of being unlike or dissimilar.
- n. An instance of disparity or unlikeness.
- n. A degree or amount by which things differ.
- n. A specific point or element that distinguishes one thing from another.
- n. A noticeable change or effect: Exercise has made a difference in her health.
- n. A disagreement or controversy.
- n. A cause of a disagreement or controversy.
- n. Discrimination in taste or choice; distinction.
- n. Mathematics The amount by which one quantity is greater or less than another.
- n. Mathematics The amount that remains after one quantity is subtracted from another.
- n. Archaic A distinct mark or peculiarity.
- v. To distinguish or differentiate.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The condition or relation of being other or different; the relation of non-identity; also, the relation between things unlike; dissimilarity in general.
- n. Any special mode of non-identity; a relation which can subsist only between different things; also, a special relation involving unlikeness; a particular dissimilarity.
- n. A character which one thing or kind of things has and another has not.
- n. Controversy, or ground of controversy; a dispute; a quarrel.
- n. An evidence or a mark of distinction.
- n. The act of distinguishing; discrimination; distinction.
- n. In mathematics: The quantity by which one quantity differs from another; the remainder of a sum or quantity after a lesser sum or quantity is subtracted.
- n. The increment of a function produced by increasing the variable by unity. The operation of taking the difference in this sense is denoted by the letter
Δ. The second difference, Δ, is the difference of the function that represents the difference of another. So third, fourth, etc., difference. The following table is an example:
- n. In heraldry, a bearing used to discriminate between shields or achievements of arms, as of brothers who inherit an equal right to the paternal coat. The most common form of differencing is cadency; another is the baston.
- n. On the exchanges, the amount of variation between the price at which it is agreed to sell and deliver a thing at a fixed time and the market-price of the thing when that time arrives. In wagering contracts, payment of the difference is expected and accepted in lieu of actual delivery.
- n. A part or division.
- n. [Difference is often followed by a prepositional phrase indicating the things or persons that differ. The preposition is usually between or among, or from, but sometimes also to (after the formula different to: see remarks under different).
- n. In mathematics, the result of performing the operation of taking the difference once.
- n. .
- n. A difference between individuals of the same species; a character possessed by one individual and not by the others of the same species. Also frequently called individual, individuant, or singular difference.
- n. Synonyms and Difference, Distinction, Diversity, Dissimilarity, Disparity, Disagreement, Variance, Discrimination, contrariety, dissimilitude, variety. The first five words express the fact of unlikeness; difference and distinction apply also to that wherein the unlikeness lies, and discrimination to the act of making or marking a difference, and to the faculty of discerning differences. (See discernment.) Distinction applies also to the eminence conferred on account of difference. Difference is the most general, applying to things small or great, internal or external. Distinction is generally, but not always, external, and generally marks delicate differences: as, the distinction between two words that are almost synonymous. Diversity, by its derivation, is a great or radical difference, equal to going in opposite directions. Dissimilarity is unlikeness, generally in large degree or essential points. Disparity is inequality, generally in rank or age. Disagreement and variance are weak words by their original meaning, but through euphemistic use have come to stand for dissimilarity of opinion of almost any degree, and for the resulting alienation of feeling, or even dissension and strife.
- n. Dissension, contest, falling out, strife, wrangle, altercation.
- To cause a difference or distinction in or between; make different or distinct.
- To distinguish; discriminate; note the difference of or between.
- In heraldry, to bear with a difference; add a difference to.
- In mathematics, to take the difference of (a function); also, to compute the successive differences of the numbers in a table.
- n. uncountable The quality of being different.
- n. countable A characteristic of something that makes it different from something else.
- n. countable A disagreement or argument.
- n. countable, uncountable Significant change in or effect on a situation or state.
- n. countable The result of a subtraction; sometimes the absolute value of this result.
- v. : (transitive) To distinguish or differentiate.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The act of differing; the state or measure of being different or unlike; distinction; dissimilarity; unlikeness; variation.
- n. Disagreement in opinion; dissension; controversy; quarrel; hence, cause of dissension; matter in controversy.
- n. That by which one thing differs from another; that which distinguishes or causes to differ; mark of distinction; characteristic quality; specific attribute.
- n. obsolete Choice; preference.
- n. (Her.) An addition to a coat of arms to distinguish the bearings of two persons, which would otherwise be the same. See Augmentation, and Marks of cadency, under Cadency.
- n. (Logic) The quality or attribute which is added to those of the genus to constitute a species; a differentia.
- n. (Math.) The quantity by which one quantity differs from another, or the remainder left after subtracting the one from the other.
- v. To cause to differ; to make different; to mark as different; to distinguish.
- n. a variation that deviates from the standard or norm
- n. a disagreement or argument about something important
- n. the number that remains after subtraction; the number that when added to the subtrahend gives the minuend
- n. the quality of being unlike or dissimilar
- n. a significant change
- From Middle English, from Old French difference, from Latin differentia ("difference"), from differens ("different"), present participle of differre (Wiktionary)
“To expand on the stats: if the difference between 80% and 50% is significant probability of less than .05 that it occurred by chance, all that means is that the *difference* between the program and coin-flipping is probably real.”
“The difference in our stations makes no difference .”
“The only difference in the arms is, in both copies, that there is _no bordure engrailed_; but this has probably been added since as a _difference_, as was often done to distinguish families.”
“So that it will be hard to say how they come to know of any such _essential difference, as _MUST_ satisfy any reasonabie Man_; and much more that this _essential difference_ is so _great, that the _Saxon_ can be no Rule to us, and that to understand ours, there is no need of knowing the _Saxon_.”
“What was the absolute difference (What was the maximum temp difference* in relation to today’s temp) and the relative (from beginning of deglacial to peak sea level rise) temp difference.”
“I use the term "difference anxiety" to describe the psychological distress that stems from viewing differences as problematic rather than natural.”
“On the business side, yes, it made a bit of an immediate tangible difference, but the main difference is feeling like there are loads of opportunities on the plate before you.”
“The main difference is that a comic book synopsis has to recount less material.”
“I hated having a different last name from my mom because the name difference reflected a divorce and all the dynamics that that can bring.”
“I coined the term "difference anxiety" to refer to the anxiety that one is different from the other -- be it in gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion or whatever else.”
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