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A difference is in everyday language or, from a traditional perspective, an aspect of the non-correspondence between two objects . The recognition of a difference occurs through the subjective act of comparison or distinction . In order to be recognized, the difference must exceed the so-called difference threshold. Only through conventions do the differences become recognized features of the property.

There is always a difference between dogs and cats in terms of their social behavior, but not in terms of the number of legs. In everyday language there is often talk of "the" difference between two things. Indeed, there are a practically unlimited number of different ways in which there is a difference (or commonality). A question like “What is the difference between a dog and a cat?” - has no clear answer unless it is stated in what respect the difference exists.

Opposite terms to the difference are agreement , similarity or commonality .


In systems theory , philosophy and psychology there are special theories about the term “difference” (cf. “difference” in systems theory , philosophy and psychology ).

A socio-economic perspective sees the difference as the source of inequality .

In difference theoretical point of view, the difference is as difference , distinction or différance basis around the world description.


A lot of joke questions involve asking what the difference between two things is. The punch line of the answer is often a play on words .

There are picture puzzles in which the task is to find a certain number of differences between two pictures that look the same at first glance .

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Difference  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations