difference


difference
/dif"euhr euhns, dif"reuhns/, n., v., differenced, differencing.
n.
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. Math.
a. the amount by which one quantity is greater or less than another.
c. (of a function f) an expression of the form f(x + h) - f(x).
10. a differentia.
11. split the difference,
a. to compromise, esp. to make equal concessions.
b. to divide the remainder equally: Let's take half of the cake and let the three of them split the difference.
v.t.
12. to cause or constitute a difference in or between; make different.
13. to perceive the difference in or between; discriminate.
[1300-50; ME ( < AF) < L differentia, equiv. to different- carrying different ways (see DIFFERENT) + -ia -IA; see -ENCE]
Syn. 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.
Ant. 1. similarity, agreement.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • différence — [ diferɑ̃s ] n. f. • 1160; lat. differentia 1 ♦ Caractère (une différence) ou ensemble des caractères (la différence) qui distingue une chose d une autre, un être d un autre; relation d altérité entre ces choses, entre ces êtres. ⇒ dissemblance,… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Difference — Différence Différence désigne ce qui distingue deux choses, et de façon extensive ce qui distingue plusieurs choses, éventuellement prises deux à deux. Sommaire 1 Mathématiques 2 Statistiques 3 Sens courant 4 Sources …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Différence — désigne ce qui distingue deux choses, et de façon extensive ce qui distingue plusieurs choses, éventuellement prises deux à deux. Sommaire 1 Mathématiques 2 Statistiques 3 Sens courant 4 Sources …   Wikipédia en Français

  • difference — Difference, Delectus, Discrimen, Differentia, Diuersitas, Distantia, Discerniculum. Difference ou desaccordance, Discrepantia. La plus grande difference qui soit entre l homme et la beste, c est que, etc. Inter hominem et belluam hoc maxime… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • différence — DIFFÉRENCE. s. f. Diversité, dissemblance, distinction. Grande différence. Différence notable, essentielle. Légère différence. Il y a grande différence entre l un et l autre, de l un à l autre, de l un avec l autre. Différence de personnes, de… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • difference — Difference. s. f. v. Diversité, dissemblance, distinction. Grande difference. difference notable, essentielle. legere difference. il y a grande difference entre l un & l autre, de l un à l autre, de l un avec l autre. difference de personnes, de… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Difference — Dif fer*ence, n. [F. diff[ e]rence, L. differentia.] 1. The act of differing; the state or measure of being different or unlike; distinction; dissimilarity; unlikeness; variation; as, a difference of quality in paper; a difference in degrees of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • difference — [dif′ər əns, dif′rəns] n. [ME < OFr < L differentia < differens, prp. of differre: see DIFFER] 1. condition, quality, fact, or instance of being different 2. the way in which people or things are different; esp., a determining point or… …   English World dictionary

  • Difference — may refer to: Difference (album), a 2005 power metal album Difference (computer science), a concept in computer science Difference (heraldry), any systematic way of distinguishing similar coats of arms belonging to members of the same family… …   Wikipedia

  • difference — I noun adverseness, antipathy, antithesis, antitheticalness, asymmetry, atypicality, breach, change, clash of temperament, clashing, conflict of opinion, contradiction, contradistinction, contraposition, contrariety, contrariness, contrast,… …   Law dictionary

  • difference — mid 14c., from O.Fr. difference (12c.) difference, distinction; argument, dispute, from L. differentia diversity, difference, from differentem (nom. differens), prp. of differre to set apart (see DIFFER (Cf. differ)). Sense of a quarrel first… …   Etymology dictionary


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