late 14c., from Old French differer (14c.) and directly from Latin differre "to set apart, differ," from dis- "away from" (see dis-) + ferre "to bear, carry," from PIE root *bher- (1) "to carry."
Two senses that were present in Latin have gone separate ways in English since c. 1500 with defer (transitive) and differ (intransitive). Related: Differed; differing.
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