ETYM French différence, Latin differentia.
1. A quantity obtained by subtraction.
2. A significant change.
3. The quality of being unlike or dissimilar.
In mathematics, the result obtained when subtracting one number from another. Also, those elements of one set that are not elements of another.
1. The amount by which two values differ. In electronics, differences in physical elements, such as waveforms or voltages, are used in the operation of circuits, amplifiers, multiplexers, communications equipment, and so on.
2. In database management, it is an operator in relational algebra that is used in sorting record sets (tuples). For example, given two relational tables, A and B, that are union-compatible (contain the same number of fields, with corresponding fields containing the same types of values), the statement DIFFERENCE A, B builds a third relation containing all those records that appear in A but not in B. See also relational algebra, tuple. Compare intersect, union.