Definitions

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

  • adj. Consisting of dissimilar elements or parts; not homogeneous. See Synonyms at miscellaneous.
  • adj. Completely different; incongruous.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Diverse in kind or nature; composed of diverse parts.
  • adj. Incommensurable because of different kinds.
  • adj. Having more than one phase (solid, liquid, gas) present in a system or process.
  • adj. Visibly consisting of different components.
  • adj. Of a network comprising different types of computers, potentially with vastly differing memory sizes, processing power and even basic underlying architecture; alternatively, of a data resource with multiple types of formats.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Differing in kind; having unlike qualities; possessed of different characteristics; dissimilar; -- opposed to homogeneous, and said of two or more connected objects, or of a conglomerate mass, considered in respect to the parts of which it is made up.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Different in kind; widely dissimilar; unlike; foreign; incongruous.
  • Composed of parts of different kinds; having widely unlike elements or constituents: opposed to homogeneous.
  • The attraction between the different kinds of electricity and magnetism.

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

  • adj. consisting of elements that are not of the same kind or nature
  • adj. originating outside the body

Etymologies

From Medieval Latin heterogeneus, from Greek heterogenēs : hetero-, hetero- + genos, kind, race; see genə- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Medieval Latin heterogeneus, from Ancient Greek ἑτερογενής ("of different kinds"), from ἕτερος (heteros, "other, another, different") + γένος (genos, "kind"). Compare hetero- and -ous. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • - so think of entities as a table of tables - they use the term heterogeneous containment to describe this idea.

    Netvouz - new bookmarks

  • The good and the bad parts of our lives do not interlock with reassuring neatness across the course of a lifetime; instead they sit together in heterogeneous disarray, elbowing one another like distant ancestors told to bunch up tight for a family photograph.

    On Reading Zen « Tales from the Reading Room

  • Mightn't a fair bit of the action be in heterogeneous technologies for repressing extreme preferences?

    Reduction to Banality, Bryan Caplan | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

  • Make the category less heterogeneous, in other words, and it may actually start to have some scientific integrity.

    MANUFACTURING DEPRESSION

  • Menschen (The optical image in heterogeneous media and the dioptrics of the human crystalline lens), 1908, which was awarded the Centenary Gold Medal of the Swedish Medical Association.

    Allvar Gullstrand - Biography

  • You can see the different between two substances its called heterogeneous mixture.

    Recently Uploaded Slideshows

  • I'm not sure I heard "heterogeneous" -- one of the terms that computer companies like to use even when they don't really mean it -- uttered once during the five-hour broadcast.

    CNET News.com

  • I'm not sure that I heard "heterogeneous" -- one of the terms that computer companies like to use, even when they don't really mean it -- uttered once during the five-hour broadcast.

    Medlogs - Recent stories

  • Anthropogenic biomes are not simple vegetation categories, and are best characterized as heterogeneous landscape mosaics combining a variety of different land uses and land covers.

    Anthropogenic biomes

  • Without pausing to consider him who saw in his novels, after they had appeared, a Human Comedy, nor those who entitled heterogeneous poems or essays The Legend of the Ages or The Bible of Humanity, can we not say all the same of the last of these that he is so perfect an incarnation of the nineteenth century that the greatest beauties in

    The Captive

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