Etymology: Middle English, from Latin different-, differens, present participle of differre
Date: 14th century
1. partly or totally unlike in nature, form, or quality ; dissimilar <could hardly be more different> — often followed by from, than, or chiefly British to <small, neat hand, very different from the captain's tottery characters — R. L. Stevenson> <vastly different in size than it was twenty-five years ago — N. M. Pusey> <a very different situation to the…one under which we live — Sir Winston Churchill> 2. not the same: as a. distinct <different age groups> b. various <different members of the class> c. another <switched to a different TV program> 3. unusual, special <she was different and superior> • differentness noun Synonyms: different, diverse, divergent, disparate, various mean unlike in kind or character. different may imply little more than separateness but it may also imply contrast or contrariness <different foods>. diverse implies both distinctness and marked contrast <such diverse interests as dancing and football>. divergent implies movement away from each other and unlikelihood of ultimate meeting or reconciliation <went on to pursue divergent careers>. disparate emphasizes incongruity or incompatibility <disparate notions of freedom>. various stresses the number of sorts or kinds <tried various methods>. Usage: Numerous commentators have condemned different than in spite of its use since the 17th century by many of the best-known names in English literature. It is nevertheless standard and is even recommended in many handbooks when followed by a clause, because insisting on from in such instances often produces clumsy or wordy formulations. Different from, the generally safe choice, is more common especially when it is followed by a noun or pronoun. II. adverb Date: 1744 differently
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.