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difference - definition and synonyms


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noun difference pronunciation in American English /ˈdɪf(ə)rəns/
Word Forms
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  1. 1
    [countable/uncountable] something that makes one thing or person not the same as another thing or person
    difference between:

    What’s the difference between these two computers?

    difference in:

    There’s a big difference in the attitudes of town and country people.

    significant/marked/major difference:

    the significant difference in sound quality between CDs and records

    slight/subtle/minor differences:

    There are subtle differences in their arrangement of the music.

    crucial/essential/fundamental difference:

    The fundamental difference between John and Jake is their attitudes to money.

  2. 2
    [countable] [usually singular] the amount by which one thing is different from another thing

    The same car costs $500 less here, which is quite a difference!

    age/price/temperature difference:

    Despite this age difference, they fell in love.

    There’s a world of difference between liking someone and wanting to marry them.

    difference of:

    The winner received 2365 votes, and the runner-up 2348 – a difference of only 17 votes.

  3. 3


    [plural] disagreements about something

    trying to smooth out differences between them

    have your differences:

    Joe and I have had our differences, but we work well together.

    resolve/settle your differences:

    The two parties agreed to settle their differences.

    irreconcilable differences (=disagreements that cannot be settled):

    Journalists were told the talks had broken down because of irreconcilable differences.


sea lion

in an online conversation, repeatedly asking a person questions which suggest that you are interested in what they are talking about, but are actually intended to annoy them

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an electric skateboard

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