Definition of “different” - English Dictionary

“different” in British English

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uk /ˈdɪf.ər.ənt/ us /ˈdɪf.ɚ.ənt/

A1 not the same:

She seems to wear something different every day.
He's different now that he's been to college.
We're reading a different book this week.
Emily is very/completely/entirely different from her sister.
Emily and her sister are completely different.
There are many different types/kinds of bacteria.

informal used when you think someone or something is unusual or shows bad judgment:

What do I think of your purple shoes? Well, they're certainly different.

More examples

  • Australia has its own cultural identity, which is very different from that of Britain.
  • You turn this dial to find a different radio station.
  • We sell 32 different flavours of ice cream.
  • Eggs are sorted into different sizes by a machine.
  • The word 'flight' has two different meanings : a plane journey, and the act of running away.
adverb uk /ˈdɪf.ər.ə us /ˈdɪf.ɚ.ə


  • If I could turn the clock back and do things differently, I would.
  • If I'd had children I might have looked at things differently.
  • As students of chemistry know, even small rearrangements of a molecule's structure can produce a compound that acts differently.
  • The legal system operates very differently in the US and Britain.
  • These figures work out differently each time I add them.


We want to do things differently.
Are girls treated differently?

(Definition of “different” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“different” in American English

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us /ˈdɪf·rənt, -ər·ənt/

not the same:

Monet and other Impressionists painted the same scene at different times of day to discover how the colors change in the different light.
The weather down here is a lot different than it is at home.
Emily is entirely different from her sister.
adverb us /ˈdɪf·rənt·li, -ər·ənt·li/

I would have done things differently if I had the chance to do them over again.

(Definition of “different” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)