1. not alike in character or quality; distinct in nature; dissimilar: The two brothers are very different, although they are identical twins.
  2. not identical; separate or distinct: When I asked for directions, three people gave me three different answers.
  3. various; several: Different people told me the same story.
  4. not ordinary; unusual: I know my new hat is a bit different, but I thought I’d try it out.


  1. partly or completely unlike
  2. not identical or the same; otherhe always wears a different tie
  3. out of the ordinary; unusual

late 14c., from Old French different (14c.), from Latin differentem (nominative differens) “differing, different,” present participle of differre “to set apart” (see differ). Colloquial sense of “special” attested by 1912. Related: Differently.

In addition to the idioms beginning with different

  • different as night and day
  • different strokes for different folks

also see:

  • horse of a different color
  • kettle of fish, different
  • march to a different drummer
  • sing a different tune
  • wear another (different) hat

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