Pronunciation: (dif'ur-uns, dif'runs), [key]
—n., v., -enced, -enc•ing.
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 finite distance. Math.
a. the amount by which one quantity is greater or less than another.
b. See relative complement.
c. (of a function f) an expression of the form f(x + h) - f(x).
10. a differentia.
11. split the difference,
a. to compromise, esp. to make equal concessions.
b. to divide the remainder equally: Let's take half of the cake and let the three of them split the difference.
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.