What does difference mean?

Definitions for difference
ˈdɪf ər əns, ˈdɪf rənsdif·fer·ence

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word difference.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. differencenoun

    the quality of being unlike or dissimilar

    "there are many differences between jazz and rock"

  2. deviation, divergence, departure, differencenoun

    a variation that deviates from the standard or norm

    "the deviation from the mean"

  3. dispute, difference, difference of opinion, conflictnoun

    a disagreement or argument about something important

    "he had a dispute with his wife"; "there were irreconcilable differences"; "the familiar conflict between Republicans and Democrats"

  4. differencenoun

    a significant change

    "the difference in her is amazing"; "his support made a real difference"

  5. remainder, differencenoun

    the number that remains after subtraction; the number that when added to the subtrahend gives the minuend


  1. differencenoun

    The quality of being different.

    You need to learn to be more tolerant of difference.

  2. differencenoun

    A characteristic of something that makes it different from something else.

    There are three differences between these two pictures.

  3. differencenoun

    A disagreement or argument.

  4. differencenoun

    Significant change in or effect on a situation or state.

  5. differencenoun

    The result of a subtraction; sometimes the absolute value of this result.

  6. differenceverb

    To distinguish or differentiate.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Differencenoun

    Etymology: differentia, Latin.

    Where the faith of the holy church is one, a difference between customs of the church doth no harm. Richard Hooker, b. iv.

    This nobility, or difference from the vulgar, was not in the beginning given to the succession of blood, but to the succession of virtue. Walter Raleigh, History of the World.

    Thus born alike, from virtue first began
    The diff’rence that distinguish’d man from man:
    He claim’d no title from descent of blood,
    But that which made him noble, made him good. Dryden.

    Though it be useful to discern every variety that is to be found in nature, yet it is not convenient to consider every difference that is in things, and divide them into distinct classes, under every such difference. John Locke.

    You shall see great difference betwixt our Bohemia and your Sicilia. William Shakespeare, Winter’s Tale.

    Oh the strange difference of man and man!
    To thee a woman’s services are due;
    My fool usurps my body. William Shakespeare, King Lear.

    Here might be seen a great difference between men practised to fight, and men accustomed only to spoil. John Hayward.

    What was the difference?
    ———— It was a contention in publick. William Shakespeare, Cymbeline.

    He is weary of his life that hath a difference with any of them, and will walk abroad after daylight. George Sandys.

    Our constitution, under a good administration, does not only make a difference between the guilty and the innocent, but, even among the guilty, between such as are more or less criminal. Joseph Addison, Freeholder, №. 31.

    Nothing could have fallen out more unluckily than that there should be such differences among them, about that which they pretend to be the only means of ending differences. John Tillotson.

    Are you acquainted with the difference,
    That holds this present question in the court? William Shakespeare.

    Some are never without a difference, and commonly, by amusing men with a subtilty, blanch the matter. Francis Bacon, Essays.

    Henry had the title of sovereign, yet did not put those things in execution which are the true marks and differences of sovereignty. Davies.

  2. To Differenceverb

    To cause a difference; to make one thing not the same as another.

    Etymology: from the noun.

    Most are apt to seek all the differences of letters in those articulating motions; whereas several combinations of letters are framed by the very same motions of those organs, which are commonly observed, and are differenced by other concurrent causes. William Holder, Elements of Speech.

    Grass differenceth a civil and well cultivated region from a barren and desolate wilderness. John Ray, on the Creation.

    We see nothing that differences the courage of Mnestheus from that of Sergesthus. Alexander Pope, Essay on Homer.


  1. difference

    Difference can be defined as the condition or state of being dissimilar or distinct from something or someone else. It refers to the variation, contrast, or discrepancy between two or more things in terms of characteristics, qualities, attributes, or opinions. Differences can occur in various aspects such as physical appearance, abilities, beliefs, values, opinions, cultures, or any other distinguishing factors that set individuals or things apart.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Differencenoun

    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 heat, or of light; what is the difference between the innocent and the guilty?

  2. Differencenoun

    disagreement in opinion; dissension; controversy; quarrel; hence, cause of dissension; matter in controversy

  3. Differencenoun

    that by which one thing differs from another; that which distinguishes or causes to differ; mark of distinction; characteristic quality; specific attribute

  4. Differencenoun

    choice; preference

  5. Differencenoun

    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

  6. Differencenoun

    the quality or attribute which is added to those of the genus to constitute a species; a differentia

  7. Differencenoun

    the quantity by which one quantity differs from another, or the remainder left after subtracting the one from the other

  8. Differenceverb

    to cause to differ; to make different; to mark as different; to distinguish


  1. Difference

    Difference is the third album of the Finnish power metal band Dreamtale released on 25 April 2005 on Spinefarm Records. It was also released in Japan. It features on vocals for the first time in the band Jarkko Ahola of the band Teräsbetoni.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. difference

    An important army term, meaning firstly the sum to be paid by officers when exchanging from the half to full pay; and, secondly, the price or difference in value of the several commissions.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'difference' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #948

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'difference' in Written Corpus Frequency: #626

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'difference' in Nouns Frequency: #195

How to pronounce difference?

How to say difference in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of difference in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of difference in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of difference in a Sentence

  1. Martin Sorrell:

    The growth has been across the board, i was pleased with the recovery in western continental Europe. But the two areas that make the big difference are the U.S. and China.

  2. Van Valkenburgh:

    I don't expect IEOs to result in better outcomes, from a regulatory and legal standpoint, there's not going to be much difference here.

  3. Minjee Kim:

    We wanted to see if there was a difference in frequencies of these diseases related to light exposure at night.

  4. Ellen Williams:

    With that increased budget we can definitely make a difference.

  5. Shlomi Ezra:

    I don't see any difference between a regular restaurant and a kosher restaurant, the restaurant has to be good, the service needs to be good, the food has to be on point so people don't forget you.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for difference

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"difference." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 13 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/difference>.

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    be contingent upon (something that is elided)
    A moan
    B depend
    C accompany
    D conceal

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