Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Fundamentally distinct or different in kind; entirely dissimilar: "This mixture of apparently disparate materials—scandal and spiritualism, current events and eternal recurrences—is not promising on the face of it” ( Gary Wills).
  • adj. Containing or composed of dissimilar or opposing elements: a disparate group of people who represented a cross section of the city.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Composed of inherently different or distinct elements; incongruous.
  • adj. Essentially different; of different species, unlike but not opposed in pairs; also, less properly, utterly unlike; incapable of being compared; having no common genus.
  • n. Any of a group of unequal or dissimilar things.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Unequal; dissimilar; separate.
  • adj. Pertaining to two coördinate species or divisions.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Essentially different; of different species, unlike but not opposed in pairs; also, less properly, utterly unlike; incapable of being compared; having no common genus.
  • n. One of two or more things or characters of different species; something that is opposite but not contrary.
  • In the psychology of sensation, belonging to or derived from different senses (said of sensations); appealing to different senses (said of stimuli).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. including markedly dissimilar elements
  • adj. fundamentally different or distinct in quality or kind

Etymologies

Latin disparātus, past participle of disparāre, to separate : dis-, apart; see dis- + parāre, to prepare; see perə-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin disparātus, past participle of disparāre ("to divide"), from dis- ("apart") + parāre ("to make equal"), from par ("equal") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • And that includes these firefighters who paid the price and took the test and did real well and should have had the job but were stopped from getting the job because the mayor and others were afraid they would be sued for what you call disparate impact.

    CNN Transcript Jul 14, 2009

  • And, in effect, what-not "in effect," really, what this Indiana law has is what we call disparate impact.

    Democracy Now!

  • And, in effect, what-not “in effect, †really, what this Indiana law has is what we call disparate impact.

    Democracy Now!

  • Bloomberg News Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher Narayana Kocherlakota, president of the Minneapolis Fed, echoed Mr. Fisher's praise for the "outstanding chairman," noting in a brief written response to a question from The Wall Street Journal about Mr. Bernanke's leadership that he "actively cultivates the expression of disparate views, and that dialogue leads to better monetary policy choices for the United States."

    Dissents Pose New Test for Bernanke

  • Holbrooke listed a few of the main disparate components of the opposition including al Qaeda, the Afghan Taliban, the Pakistani Taliban (TTP), the Haqqani Network and Laskhar-e-Taiba.

    Michael Hughes: Saving Afghanistan Requires Smashing Dangerous Delusions

  • I expect that whether or not they play these games, people aged 18-60 are engaged in disparate, engaging activities throughout the day.

    Brain Teasing Games Don’t Boost Your IQ, Study Says | Lifehacker Australia

  • He's recorded thunderous drum'n'bass tracks for Goldie's flagship Metalheadz label, hosted mascara-streaked electroclash nights along New York impresario Larry Tee, made hard-hitting trance mixes for Paul Oakenfold's label ... and more important, it's not dabbling, as he shows great creativity in disparate genres.

    Nightlife Agenda

  • We are dealing with multiple authors writing in disparate locations.

    Blind Faith?

  • He was admired for his original and productive mathematical approaches to problems in disparate areas such as the distribution of galaxies, the turbulent flow of fluids and the behavior of financial markets.

    Benoit Mandelbrot, pioneer in fractal geometry, dies at 85

  • The settlers 'ability to make and sustain disparate claims depended on social relationships, so their decisions about when and where to claim land were predicated on both practical and affinal considerations.

    Belongings: Property, Family, and Identity in Colonial South Africa

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