VS.

# Difference vs. Distinction

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Differencenoun

(uncountable) The quality of being different.

‘You need to learn to be more tolerant of difference.’;

Distinctionnoun

That which distinguishes; a single occurrence of a determining factor or feature, the fact of being divided; separation, discrimination.

Differencenoun

(countable) A characteristic of something that makes it different from something else.

‘There are three differences between these two pictures.’;

Distinctionnoun

The act of distinguishing, discriminating; discrimination.

‘There is a distinction to be made between resting and slacking.’;

Differencenoun

(countable) A disagreement or argument.

‘We have our little differences, but we are firm friends.’;

Distinctionnoun

Specifically, a feature that causes someone or something to stand out as being better; a mark of honour, rank, eminence or excellence; being distinguished.

‘She had the distinction of meeting the Queen.’;

Differencenoun

Significant change in or effect on a situation or state.

‘It just won't make much difference to me.’; ‘It just won't make much of a difference to anyone.’;

Distinctionnoun

A marking off by visible signs; separation into parts; division.

‘The distinction of tragedy into acts was not known.’;

Differencenoun

(countable) The result of a subtraction; sometimes the absolute value of this result.

Distinctionnoun

The act of distinguishing or denoting the differences between objects, or the qualities by which one is known from others; exercise of discernment; discrimination.

‘To take away therefore that error, which confusion breedeth, distinction is requisite.’;

Differencenoun

(obsolete) Choice; preference.

Distinctionnoun

That which distinguishes one thing from another; distinguishing quality; sharply defined difference; as, the distinction between real and apparent good.

‘The distinction betwixt the animal kingdom and the inferior parts of matter.’;

Differencenoun

(heraldry) An addition to a coat of arms to distinguish two people's bearings which would otherwise be the same. See augmentation and cadency.

Distinctionnoun

Estimation of difference; regard to differences or distinguishing circumstance.

‘Maids, women, wives, without distinction, fall.’;

Differencenoun

(logic) The quality or attribute which is added to those of the genus to constitute a species; a differentia.

Distinctionnoun

Conspicuous station; eminence; superiority; honorable estimation; as, a man of distinction.

‘Your country's own means of distinction and defense.’;

Differencenoun

(logic circuits) A Boolean operation which is TRUE when the two input variables are different but is otherwise FALSE; the XOR operation ($\scriptstyle A \overline B + \overline A B$).

Distinctionnoun

a discrimination between things as different and distinct;

‘it is necessary to make a distinction between love and infatuation’;

Differencenoun

(relational algebra) the set of elements that are in one set but not another ($\scriptstyle A \overline B$).

Distinctionnoun

high status importance owing to marked superiority;

‘a scholar of great eminence’;

Differenceverb

(transitive) To distinguish or differentiate.

Distinctionnoun

a distinguishing quality;

‘it has the distinction of being the cheapest restaurant in town’;

Differencenoun

The act of differing; the state or measure of being different or unlike; distinction; dissimilarity; unlikeness; variation; as, a difference of quality in paper; a difference in degrees of heat, or of light; what is the difference between the innocent and the guilty?

‘Differencies of administration, but the same Lord.’;

Distinctionnoun

a distinguishing difference;

‘he learned the distinction between gold and lead’;

Differencenoun

Disagreement in opinion; dissension; controversy; quarrel; hence, cause of dissension; matter in controversy.

‘What was the difference? It was a contention in public.’; ‘Away therefore went I with the constable, leaving the old warden and the young constable to compose their difference as they could.’;

Differencenoun

That by which one thing differs from another; that which distinguishes or causes to differ; mark of distinction; characteristic quality; specific attribute.

‘The marks and differences of sovereignty.’;

Differencenoun

Choice; preference.

‘That now he chooseth with vile differenceTo be a beast, and lack intelligence.’;

Differencenoun

An addition to a coat of arms to distinguish the bearings of two persons, which would otherwise be the same. See Augmentation, and Marks of cadency, under Cadency.

Differencenoun

The quality or attribute which is added to those of the genus to constitute a species; a differentia.

Differencenoun

The quantity by which one quantity differs from another, or the remainder left after subtracting the one from the other.

Differenceverb

To cause to differ; to make different; to mark as different; to distinguish.

‘Thou mayest difference gods from men.’; ‘Kings, in receiving justice and undergoing trial, are not differenced from the meanest subject.’; ‘So completely differenced by their separate and individual characters that we at once acknowledge them as distinct persons.’;

Differencenoun

the quality of being unlike or dissimilar;

‘there are many differences between jazz and rock’;

Differencenoun

a variation that deviates from the standard or norm;

‘the deviation from the mean’;

Differencenoun

a disagreement or argument about something important;

‘he had a dispute with his wife’; ‘there were irreconcilable differences’; ‘the familiar conflict between Republicans and Democrats’;

Differencenoun

a significant change;

‘the difference in her is amazing’; ‘his support made a real difference’;

Differencenoun

the number that remains after subtraction; the number that when added to the subtrahend gives the minuend