Something is different whether it is only a little or completely unlike something else. Not only are your two cats different breeds, but they are also different from your pet tiger.
Often followed by the word than or from, different describes something that contrasts with, or differs from, something else. With roots in the Latin differre, meaning “to set apart,” different can also describe something that belongs in a whole other category. More recently, the word has picked up an additional sense — for something that is special or unique, in an extraordinary or sometimes negative way. That tie your dad has with the different kinds of peppers on it is definitely... different.