40 Synonyms for “Different”

By Mark Nichol

Looking for a different way to say “different”? Here are forty more or less distinct synonyms, along with their sometimes similar, sometimes disparate meanings.

1. Alternate: arranged or occurring in turns, or see alternative; also, every other (also a verb)
2. Alternative: referring to a choice; also, apart from the conventional or usual
3. Assorted: consisting of different kinds
4. Differing: see distinct, or changing from one case or situation to another; also, disagreeing
5. Discernable: able to be recognized as different; also detectable or recognizable
6. Discrete: see distinct
7. Disparate: see distinct, or incompatibly different
8. Dissimilar: not alike
9. Distant: different in kind; also, separated or far away from, going a long way, or far behind, or reserved in behavior, or distracted
10. Distinct: separate, or readily distinguishable; also, notable or unmistakable
11. Divergent: differing from each other or from a standard
12. Divers: see various (also an unrelated and differently pronounced plural form of diver)
13. Diverse: see distinct, or unlike
14. Eclectic: Drawn from various sources, or see heterogeneous
15. Heterogeneous: consisting of dissimilar ingredients or parts
16. Idiosyncratic: having a distinguishable quality; also, eccentric, or hypersensitive
17. Indiscriminate: see heterogeneous or motley; also, random, unrestrained, or careless about distinction
18. Individual: see separate; also, pertaining to an individual or individuality (also a noun)
19. Kitchen-sink: consisting of noticeably different parts; also, referring to the degrading aspects of poverty
20. Magpie: collected indiscriminately; also, acquisitive (also, a person who collects indiscriminately or chatters, or the bird whose behavior inspires these usages)
21. Manifold: see diverse or various; also, many, or consisting of various qualities (also an unrelated noun)
22. Miscellaneous: see diverse
23. Mixed: consisting of more than one kind (also a verb)
24. Motley: incongruously diverse; also, having different-colored markings
25. Multifarious: see diverse or various
26. Particular: see distinct; also, detailed, specific, or exacting or meticulous (also, in plural form, a noun)
27. Peculiar: distinctive; also, unusual or abnormal (this negative connotation predominates, so use with caution)
28. Piebald: consisting of incongruous parts; also, consisting of different colors (especially black and white)
29. Promiscuous: consisting of all types, or not restricted to one type; also, casual, irregular, or tending to have multiple sexual partners (because of this provocative connotation, promiscuous is rarely used in other senses)
30. Raggle-taggle: see motley
31. Ragtag: see motley; also, ragged or slovenly
32. Respective: see separate
33. Separate: not similar; also, autonomous, detached, or individual (also a verb)
34. Several: see distinct and separate; also, exclusive or relating separately, or a few
35. Single: unlike any other; also, lone, unmarried, or celibate, or honest or exclusive, or designed for one, or having only one item or part, or undivided
36. Singular: distinctive; also, exceptional or unusual, or pertaining to a single thing
37. Sundry: miscellaneous or various
38. Variant: varying slightly; also, demonstrating disagreement or variety (also a noun)
39. Varied: see diverse and various; also, having different-colored markings (also a verb)
40. Various: unlike, or of differing kinds, or see separate; also, individual, or having a number of qualities, or an indefinite number more than one

Note, however, that different is often redundant, as in “They came up with many different ideas” (do you need to specify that the ideas they came up with were not identical?), so consider whether it is necessary to replace the deleted word at all.

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