Definify.com

Webster 1913 Edition


Difference

Dif′fer-ence

,
Noun.
[F.
différence
, 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 heat, or of light; what is the
difference
between the innocent and the guilty?
Differencies
of administration, but the same Lord.
1 Cor. xii. 5.
2.
Disagreement in opinion; dissension; controversy; quarrel; hence, cause of dissension; matter in controversy.
What was the
difference
? It was a contention in public.
Shakespeare
Away therefore went I with the constable, leaving the old warden and the young constable to compose their
difference
as they could.
T. Ellwood.
3.
That by which one thing differs from another; that which distinguishes or causes to differ; mark of distinction; characteristic quality; specific attribute.
The marks and
differences
of sovereignty.
Davies.
4.
Choice; preference.
[Obs.]
That now he chooseth with vile
difference

To be a beast, and lack intelligence.
Spenser.
5.
(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
.
6.
(Logic)
The quality or attribute which is added to those of the genus to constitute a species; a differentia.
7.
(Math.)
The quantity by which one quantity differs from another, or the remainder left after subtracting the one from the other.
Syn. – Distinction; dissimilarity; dissimilitude; variation; diversity; variety; contrariety; disagreement; variance; contest; contention; dispute; controversy; debate; quarrel; wrangle; strife.

Dif′fer-ence

,
Verb.
T.
[
imp. & p. p.
Differenced
;
p. pr. & vb. n.
Differencing
.]
To cause to differ; to make different; to mark as different; to distinguish.
Thou mayest
difference
gods from men.
Chapman.
Kings, in receiving justice and undergoing trial, are not
differenced
from the meanest subject.
Milton.
So completely
differenced
by their separate and individual characters that we at once acknowledge them as distinct persons.
Sir W. Scott.

Webster 1828 Edition


Difference

DIFFERENCE

,
Noun.
1.
The state of being unlike or distinct; distinction; disagreement; want of sameness; variation; dissimilarity. Difference may be total or partial, and exist in the nature and essence of things, in the form, the qualities or degrees. There is a difference in nature between animals and plants; a difference in form between the genera and species of animals; a difference of quality in paper; and a difference in degrees of heat, or of light.
2.
The quality which distinguishes one thing from another.
3.
Dispute; debate; contention; quarrel; controversy.
What was the difference? It was a contention in public.
4.
The point in dispute; ground of controversy.
5.
A logical distinction.
6.
Evidences or marks of distinction.
The marks and differences of sovereignty.
7.
Distinction.
There is no difference between the Jew and the Greek. Romans 10.
8.
In mathematics, the remainder of a sum or quantity, after a lesser sum or quantity is subtracted.
9.
In logic, an essential attribute, belonging to some species, and not found in the genus; being the idea that defines the species.
10.
In heraldry, a certain figure added to a coat of arms, serving to distinguish one family from another, or to show how distant a younger branch is from the elder or principal branch.

DIFFERENCE

,
Verb.
T.
To cause a difference or distinction. A regular administration of justice according to fixed laws differences a civilized from a savage state.

Definition 2022


difference

difference

See also: différence

English

Noun

difference (countable and uncountable, plural differences)

  1. (uncountable) The quality of being different.
    You need to learn to be more tolerant of difference.
  2. (countable) A characteristic of something that makes it different from something else.
    • 2013 June 1, “Towards the end of poverty”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8838, page 11:
      But poverty’s scourge is fiercest below $1.25 (the average of the 15 poorest countries’ own poverty lines, measured in 2005 dollars and adjusted for differences in purchasing power): people below that level live lives that are poor, nasty, brutish and short.
    There are three differences between these two pictures.
  3. (countable) A disagreement or argument.
    We have our little differences, but we are firm friends.
    • Shakespeare
      What was the difference? It was a contention in public.
    • T. Ellwood
      Away therefore went I with the constable, leaving the old warden and the young constable to compose their difference as they could.
  4. (countable, uncountable) Significant change in or effect on a situation or state.
    • 1908, Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
      The line of the horizon was clear and hard against the sky, and in one particular quarter it showed black against a silvery climbing phosphorescence that grew and grew. At last, over the rim of the waiting earth the moon lifted with slow majesty till it swung clear of the horizon and rode off, free of moorings; and once more they began to see surfacesmeadows wide-spread, and quiet gardens, and the river itself from bank to bank, all softly disclosed, all washed clean of mystery and terror, all radiant again as by day, but with a difference that was tremendous.
    It just won't make much difference to me.
    It just won't make much of a difference to anyone.
  5. (countable) The result of a subtraction; sometimes the absolute value of this result.
  6. (obsolete) Choice; preference.
    • Spenser
      That now be chooseth with vile difference / To be a beast, and lack intelligence.
  7. (heraldry) An addition to a coat of arms to distinguish two people's bearings which would otherwise be the same. See augmentation and cadency.
  8. (logic) The quality or attribute which is added to those of the genus to constitute a species; a differentia.
  9. (logic circuits) A Boolean operation which is TRUE when the two input variables are different but is otherwise FALSE; the XOR operation ().
  10. (relational algebra) the set of elements that are in one set but not another ().

Synonyms

Antonyms

Derived terms

Translations

See also

Verb

difference (third-person singular simple present differences, present participle differencing, simple past and past participle differenced)

  1. (transitive) To distinguish or differentiate.
    (The addition of quotations indicative of this usage is being sought):

Synonyms

Translations

Related terms


Old French

Alternative forms

  • differance

Etymology

Latin differentia

Noun

difference f (oblique plural differences, nominative singular difference, nominative plural differences)

  1. difference

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