# Difference vs. Differential

Main DifferenceDifference and Differential are two terms that confuse a lot of people with their similarity and usage. Most of the times these words are taken in the same context and used accordingly, but there is a lot of difference in both of them, which is explained in the lines that follow. Since both the terms are derived from the same word, they are deemed to be similar in some ways. There are different perspectives under which their meanings can be defined. In terms of mathematics, the difference is defined as something that sum of comparison between two words while differential is defined as the change in the value of some variable. Many words can describe the term difference quickly, on the other hand while explaining differential, there aren’t many words which can correctly explain what it exactly means and understanding it properly can be an issue. Both these terms can be taken in the same context when it comes to basic understanding. In standard speaking terms, the difference is a characteristic that distinguishes two people or things from each other as in they have no similarities between the two of them. On the other hand, the differential is the change between them in comparison to each other. The two terms have originated from the same word root and therefore tend to confuse people in terms of their usage. To generalize these terms, the difference is something that tells how much one is opposite to the other while differential is the characteristic by which that change or opposition can be measured. Most of the times, the term difference is used in day to day language and is considered a word that is used abundantly. While differential is a word which is deemed to be used mostly in technical terms such as while solving a mathematical equation or in scientific terms, to measure something. If we go deeper into the technical side of things, then the difference can be termed as the overall change in two terms irrespective of the context and other factors while differential is the total detectable change between those two expressions keeping in mind the current conditions and factors affecting.

## Difference Between Difference and Differential

#### Difference vs. Differential

The difference is taken frequently in general language terms and more often used in daily language. The differential is considered more in scientific terms and more often used in technical terms.

#### Difference vs. Differential

The difference means the amount of opposition or gap between two objects while Differential means the total change or variation between the two objects about the factors it is depending on.

#### Difference vs. Differential

In mathematical terms, the difference is the sum of two equations irrespective of anything while differential is the change in the value of these words depending on the variables involved.

#### Difference vs. Differential

In more simplified terms, the difference is the change in the things themselves while differential is the difference in the number of things.

#### Differencenoun

(uncountable) The quality of being different.

*You need to learn to be more tolerant of difference.*

#### Differentialadjective

of, or relating to a difference

*differential characteristics*

#### Differencenoun

(countable) A characteristic of something that makes it different from something else.

*There are three differences between these two pictures.*

#### Differentialadjective

dependent on, or making a difference; distinctive

#### Differencenoun

(countable) A disagreement or argument.

*We have our little differences, but we are firm friends.*

#### Differentialadjective

having differences in speed or direction of motion

#### Differencenoun

Significant change in or effect on a situation or state.

*It just won't make much difference to me.*

*It just won't make much of a difference to anyone.*

#### Differentialadjective

(mathematics) of, or relating to differentiation, or the differential calculus

#### Differencenoun

(countable) The result of a subtraction; sometimes the absolute value of this result.

#### Differentialnoun

the differential gear in an automobile etc

#### Differencenoun

(obsolete) Choice; preference.

#### Differentialnoun

a qualitative or quantitative difference between similar or comparable things

#### Differencenoun

(heraldry) An addition to a coat of arms to distinguish two people's bearings which would otherwise be the same. See augmentation and cadency.

#### Differentialnoun

(mathematics) an infinitesimal change in a variable, or the result of differentiation

#### Differencenoun

(logic) The quality or attribute which is added to those of the genus to constitute a species; a differentia.

#### Differentialnoun

One of two coils of conducting wire so related to one another or to a magnet or armature common to both, that one coil produces polar action contrary to that of the other.

#### Differencenoun

(logic circuits) A Boolean operation which is TRUE when the two input variables are different but is otherwise FALSE; the XOR operation ($\backslash scriptstyle\; A\; \backslash overline\; B\; +\; \backslash overline\; A\; B$).

#### Differentialnoun

A form of conductor used for dividing and distributing the current to a series of electric lamps so as to maintain equal action in all.

#### Differencenoun

(relational algebra) the set of elements that are in one set but not another ($\backslash scriptstyle\; A\; \backslash overline\; B$).

#### Differentialnoun

the result of mathematical differentiation; the instantaneous change of one quantity relative to another; df(x)/dx

#### Differenceverb

(transitive) To distinguish or differentiate.

#### Differentialnoun

a quality that differentiates between similar things

#### Differencenoun

the quality of being unlike or dissimilar;

*there are many differences between jazz and rock*

#### Differentialnoun

a bevel gear that permits rotation of two shafts at different speeds; used on the rear axle of automobiles to allow wheels to rotate at different speeds on curves

#### Differencenoun

a variation that deviates from the standard or norm;

*the deviation from the mean*

#### Differentialadjective

relating to or showing a difference;

*differential treatment*

#### Differencenoun

a disagreement or argument about something important;

*he had a dispute with his wife*

*there were irreconcilable differences*

*the familiar conflict between Republicans and Democrats*

#### Differentialadjective

involving or containing one or more derivatives;

*differential equation*

#### Differencenoun

a significant change;

*the difference in her is amazing*

*his support made a real difference*

#### Differencenoun

the number that remains after subtraction; the number that when added to the subtrahend gives the minuend

## Comparison Chart

Difference | Differential |

The quality of being unlike or dissimilar | The result of mathematical differentiation; the instantaneous change of one quantity relative to another |

Usage | |

Used in daily lives | Used as a mathematical term |

Alternative Explanation | |

amount of opposition or gap between two objects | the total change or variation between the two objects |

Equation | |

None | df(x)/dx |

### Definition of **Difference**

In simple words, the difference can be explained in two ways. Firstly, it is a factor according to which two things or people can be opposite of each other. This can be explained further in different words such as dissimilarity, contrast or unevenness. Secondly, it can also be defined as a point of contention in which two people tend to disagree. This can be explained further with synonyms such as quarrel, dispute, debate and many others. Going into more complexity, difference can be defined as the extent to which two objects can be incongruities as in it shows inconsistency among two things. This does not depend on any other conditions, but the overall opposition between the two objects is just called difference. There are many other definitions of difference which can expand it more. It can be termed as a sudden change in the way people act and an aspect that helps in distinguishing between two things. This word is originated from the French word differential which means a trait that helps in identifying a species from another.

### Definition of **Differential**

The differential is defined as something that depends on the difference, as in, a quantity which variations about the change between two objects. In general English terms, the differential is a factor that changes according to the difference in circumstances. This word is also derived from the main word called differential, a French word which is the root of all such similar terms. Therefore, it is confused with other terms which do not mean it bears the same meaning. Mostly this term relates to mathematics and does not have an everyday use when it comes to language but still has various meanings depending upon different origins. It is basically a characteristic according to which the transformation can be measured. In scientific terms differential is called something that helps in comparing the actual difference after the factors involved have influenced the change. Several other explanations come with this word, in mathematics, it is known as the tremendous relation difference and is often used while solving the derivative equations or the difference between two variable quantities.

ConclusionAlthough these two terms are very different from each other which is obvious just by the name. One ends up being a word and the other a mathematical work. This article helps in clearing some misconceptions about the two terms and related the differences between them in a proper way so that you know what you are talking about.