Meaning of difference

dif•fer•ence

Pronunciation: (dif'ur-uns, dif'runs), [key]
— n., v., -enced, -enc•ing.
—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
    1. the amount by which one quantity is greater or less than another.
    2. Seerelative complement.
    3. (of a function f&hasp;) an expression of the form f(x + h) − f(x).
  10. a differentia.
  11. Let's take half of the cake and let the three of them split the difference.
    1. to compromise, esp. to make equal concessions.
    2. to divide the remainder equally:Let's take half of the cake and let the three of them split the difference.
—v.t.
  1. to cause or constitute a difference in or between; make different.
  2. to perceive the difference in or between; discriminate.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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