12 Synonyms for Different: Unalike, Unlike, Divergent,…


Different means that two or more things are not the same as each other.

  • Red and Blue are different colors.
  • The two boys have very different personalities.

There are multiple other words that can be used instead of different, here are some of the most common.

1. Dissimilar 

Means that two things are not similar or not the same. They are not alike.

  • What we’re saying is not dissimilar, I think we actually agree with each other.
  • The stories that the suspects told were too dissimilar. Someone is lying.

2. Unalike 

Means that two things are different and not the same. The plans that the two colleagues came up with were unalike.

  • Are the two really so unalike?

3. Unlike

Refers to two or more things not being the same or being different. It can be used as a preposition to show a contrast between things, or to say that something is not normal behavior. It can also be used as an adjective in the same way as different.

  • What I want to do is unlike what he described yesterday.
  • Getting that angry was unlike anything I’d seen from him before.
  • Green and blue are not the same, they are unlike each other.

4. Contrast and Contrastive

Means that one is comparing the differences between two or more things, or it can mean that two things are very different. When the word contrast is being used it does not refer to small differences. Contrastive is just saying that the way something is done is different.

  • The two had contrasting styles. He was very bold and loud, she was quieter and took a softer approach.
  • The two stories contrast too much for both people to be telling the truth.
  • John had a contrastive way of presenting information.

5. Divergent 

Refers to two or more things going in a different direction. They may start off going the same way, but at some point that changes and they go in seperate ways. It can also just speak to two things being different.

  • Their marriage ended because what they wanted out of life began to diverge.
  • The two had divergent views of what took place that night.

6. Differing 

Means that two or more things are unalike or that two or more entities don’t agree.

  • The angle in the second photo differed from the original.
  • The two companies were not able to come to an agreement, because they had differing views on how the profits should be divided.

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7. Varying 

Means that thing do not stay the same, sometimes it’s one thing, sometimes it’s another. Things can differ in size, color, degree, anything.  It simply means that things change.

  • The temperature over the last month has varied.
  • I’m concerned that his grades vary too much.

8. Disparate

Means that things contrast or differ from each other. It also can mean that there is no reason to compare two or more things because they are so different.

  • Our views of how things should be are so disparate , that there’s no reason for us to even have a conversation.
  • If you look at the two plans, I don’t think they are as disparate as you think. I think we can compromise.

9. Incompatible

Means that two or more things are opposed and cannot exist or be together. It is often used to say that two people cannot or should not live together.

It also could be used to say that people cannot work together. Further, it can mean that things are not able to exist together.

  • They fight so often, they are incompatible and should break up.
  • Clearly the two of you are incompatible and cannot work together. One of you needs to move to another department.
  • Water and oil are incompatible. If you try to put them together they will separate.

Different also means that two or more things are two distinct separate entities (or things).

  • We have already discussed this on two different occasions.
  • You have two different assignments due on Friday.

There are are few synonyms that can be used for this definition of different. Here they are.

10. Distinct

Means that two or more things are known as being different. They are clearly not the same thing. It also means that something is clear and recognizable or distinguishable from other things.

  • I want to discuss two distinct things with you.
  • Is there a distinct topic you would like to speak about next week?

11. Separate

Means that one thing is not the same as another thing. They are clearly two different things. It means that what is being spoken about is not joined.

  • I’m not sure that all of your complaints are separate, they seem to be linked together.
  • I have three separate cups of coffee every morning.

12. Individual

Means that something is single or separate. It is often used to talk about a person, but it can be used for other nouns as well.

  • We need 15 individuals to participate in the study.
  • She has a very individual style, I can always tell when I’m looking at her art.

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