difference

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all the difference in the world

The greatest degree of difference that is possible or conceivable. Without the verbs "mean" or "make," it is used to compare two disparate things. There's all the difference in the world between knowing how to play and actually performing on the field. I was sympathetic at first, but finding out you didn't even study for the test makes all the difference in the world. You're grounded!
See also: all, difference, world

dime's worth of difference

A miniscule, insignificant, or indiscernible amount of difference. Often used in the negative for extra emphasis. There isn't a dime's worth of difference between the two candidates—they're both crooks, in my opinion. You can holler all you like, it won't make a dime's worth of difference.
See also: difference, of, worth

what's the difference

1. How do these things differ? Said in this way, the phrase is a legitimate question that the speaker wants answered. What's the difference between these two recipes? They use the exact same ingredients and everything. What's the difference between all these cell phones?
2. What does it matter? Said in this way, the phrase is usually an aside highlighting the speaker's frustration. We can take the long way home, or we can sit in traffic here. Both ways will take forever, so what's the difference? What's the difference if I come home on Friday night or Saturday morning? You guys will be asleep either way!
See also: difference

a world of difference

1. A stark contrast. There's a world of difference between high school classes and college classes.
2. A vast improvement. A fresh coat of paint has made a world of difference in that old house.
See also: difference, of, world

a difference of opinion

A dispute or disagreement. It seems that we have a difference of opinion about how to interpret the text.
See also: difference, of, opinion

make a world of difference

To create a very noticeable effect, especially a vast improvement. A fresh coat of paint has made a world of difference in that old house. A good night's sleep, proper meals, and a bit of exercise can make a world of difference to your outlook on life.
See also: difference, make, of, world

make all the difference (in the world)

To create a very noticeable effect, especially a vast improvement. A fresh coat of paint has made all the difference for that old house. A good night's sleep, proper meals, and a bit of exercise can make all the difference in the world to your outlook on life.
See also: all, difference, make

make a difference

1. To have some effect on something; to cause a change. Will it make a difference if I add the salt before or after I heat up the soup? I don't think it will make a difference if we're five minutes late.
2. To have an impact, especially in a positive way. Graduates, you can make a difference in this world. You can reshape the future! He probably doesn't know it, but his kindness to us as kids really made a difference.
See also: difference, make

same difference

Making no actual difference; the same or essentially the same. A: "I told you to by a white dresser, not a cream-colored one." B: "White, cream—same difference." A: "Do you want to go get the food, or will I?" B: "Eh, same difference."
See also: difference, same

(It) makes no difference to me.

 and (It) makes me no difference.; (It) makes me no nevermind.; (It) don't make me no nevermind.
Inf. I really do not care, one way or the other. (The first one is standard, the others are colloquial.) Bill: Mind if I sit here? Tom: Makes no difference to me. Bill: What would you say if I ate the last piece of cake? Bob: Don't make me no nevermind.
See also: difference, make

make a difference in someone or something

to cause a noticeable change in someone or something. Getting a job made a big difference in my lifestyle. His mother's death made a difference in his attitude toward doctors.
See also: difference, make

make a difference to someone

[for one choice or another] to matter to someone. The big one or the little one—does it really make a difference to anyone? It makes quite a difference to me!
See also: difference, make

make no difference (to someone)

[for a choice] not to matter to someone. (Any is used with negative nouns or verbs.) Pick whom you like. It makes no difference to me. It doesn't make any difference to me. Nothing much makes any difference to them anymore.
See also: difference, make

same difference

the same; no difference at all. Pink, fuchsia, what does it matter? Same difference. Whether you go or I go, it's the same difference.
See also: difference, same

split the difference

to divide the difference evenly (with someone else). You want to sell for $120, and I want to buy for $100. Let's split the difference and close the deal at $110. I don't want to split the difference. I want $120.
See also: difference, split

tell the difference between (someone and someone else) (or something and something else)

to recognize the things that distinguish people or things. I can't tell the difference between Billy and Bobby. Sam can't tell the difference between Granny Smith and Royal Gala apples.
See also: difference, tell

What difference does it make?

Does it really matter?; Does it cause any trouble? What if I choose to leave home? What difference does it make? So Jane dropped out of the club. What difference does it make?
See also: difference, does, what

make a difference

1. Distinguish or discriminate. This phrase appears in the Bible (Leviticus 11:47): "To make a difference between the unclean and the clean." [Late 1500s]
2. Also, make the difference. Cause a change in effect, change the nature of something, as in His score on this test will make the difference between passing and failing, or These curtains sure make a difference in the lighting.
3. Be important, matter, as in Her volunteer work made a difference in many lives. The antonym of this usage is make no difference, as in It makes no difference to me if we go immediately or in an hour. This usage appeared long ago in slightly different versions. Miles Coverdale's translation of the Bible of 1535 had it is no difference, and the converse, it makes great difference, was first recorded about 1470.
See also: difference, make

same difference

No difference at all, the same thing, as in She's my sister, or stepsister-same difference. This jocular colloquial phrase dates from about 1940.
See also: difference, same

split the difference

Compromise between two close figures, divide the remainder equally. For example, You're asking $5,000 for the car and I'm offering $4,000; let's split the difference and make it $4,500 . [c. 1700]
See also: difference, split

same difference

used to express the speaker's belief that two or more things are essentially the same, in spite of apparent differences. informal
See also: difference, same

split the difference

take the average of two proposed amounts.
See also: difference, split

not a ˌblind bit of ˈnotice, ˈdifference, etc.

,

not the ˌblindest bit of ˈnotice, ˈdifference, etc.

(British English, spoken) no notice, difference, etc. at all: She didn’t take a blind bit of notice when I asked her to stop. She walked straight past me.
See also: bit, blind, not, of

make a, no, some, etc. ˈdifference (to/in somebody/something)

have an effect/no effect on somebody/something: The rain didn’t make much difference to the game.Your age shouldn’t make any difference to whether you get the job or not.Changing schools made a big difference to my life.
See also: difference, make

make all the ˈdifference (to somebody/something)

have an important effect on somebody/something; make somebody feel better: A few kind words at the right time make all the difference if you’re upset.
See also: all, difference, make

same ˈdifference

(spoken) used to say that you think the differences between two things are not important: ‘She’s divorced from her husband.’ ‘No she’s not, she’s only separated.’ ‘Same difference.’
See also: difference, same

with a ˈdifference

(informal) (used after nouns) of an unusual kind: The traditional backpack with a difference — it’s completely waterproof.
See also: difference

sink your ˈdifferences

agree to forget or ignore your past arguments or disagreements: The two groups sank their political differences and joined together to beat the ruling party.
See also: difference, sink

split the ˈdifference

agree on an amount of something, such as money, which is halfway between two others: John offered €60, but Peter wanted €100. Finally they split the difference and agreed on €80.
See also: difference, split

a/the ˈworld of difference (between A and B)

(informal) a lot of difference (between A and B): There’s a world of difference between ‘speed’ and ‘haste’.
See also: difference, of, world

same difference

n. the same; no difference at all. Pink, fuchsia, what does it matter? Same difference.
See also: difference, same

split the difference

To take half of a disputed amount as a compromise.
See also: difference, split