verb (used without object)

  1. to be unlike, dissimilar, or distinct in nature or qualities (often followed by from): The two writers differ greatly in their perceptions of the world. Each writer’s style differs from that of another.
  2. to disagree in opinion, belief, etc.; be at variance; disagree (often followed by with or from): His business partner always differs with him.
  3. Obsolete. to dispute; quarrel.

verb (intr)

  1. (often foll by from) to be dissimilar in quality, nature, or degree (to); vary (from)
  2. (often foll by from or with) to be at variance (with); disagree (with)
  3. dialect to quarrel or dispute
  4. agree to differ to end an argument amicably while maintaining differences of opinion

late 14c., from Old French differer (14c.) and directly from Latin differre “to set apart, differ,” from dis- “away from” (see dis-) + ferre “carry” (see infer).

Two senses that were present in Latin have gone separate ways in English since c.1500 with defer (transitive) and differ (intransitive). Related: Differed; differing.

see beg to differ. Also see under difference; different.

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