This tag is for questions about the differences in the meaning of two words.

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11
votes
3answers
63k views

“Give up” versus “give in”

Do give up and give in imply different meanings?
38
votes
3answers
38k views

“Maximum” vs. “maximal”

What is the difference in usage between maximum and maximal? When would you use one or the other? Maximum can be a noun or an adjective: This is the maximum it can be set to. This is the ...
22
votes
6answers
26k views

Difference between “validation” and “verification”

What is the difference between validation and verification? When looking them up on Wiktionary they seem to mean mostly the same thing, but is there a difference? For example, would I be correct in ...
16
votes
5answers
45k views

Difference between “theorem” and “theory”

What is the difference between a theorem and a theory? The two words seem to be used to describe very similar things, but yet do not seem to be interchangeable. For example, we have Pythagoras' ...
12
votes
4answers
70k views

“Percent” vs. “percentile”

Just because .01% of people may be at risk of frying themselves on the third rail doesn't mean they need to modify the system for that miniscule percentile. It just means you need to let Darwinism ...
12
votes
4answers
41k views

What's the difference between “egotism” and “egoism”?

I am interested in the difference between these two seemingly synonymous terms.
11
votes
3answers
44k views

Difference between “are you done” and “have you done.”

I was just wondering, how can we differentiate "are you done?" and "have you done?", and what is the appropriate way to use each?
6
votes
2answers
17k views

“Stop working” vs “stopped to work”

I want to know, is there any difference between "stop + v.(ing)" and "stopped to + v.". These are example sentences. I stop working for a month. vs I stopped to work for a month. I stop watching ...
31
votes
6answers
23k views

Difference between “artifact” and “artefact”

Is there any usage preference between artifact and artefact? My understanding was that an artifact was properly applied to physical, historical objects, while an artefact was more correct for more ...
17
votes
3answers
26k views

“Sick” or “ill”?

If I'm not healthy, am I sick or am I ill? Are these interchangeable, or do they merely overlap?
15
votes
6answers
241k views

Difference between “supposedly” and “supposably”

What is the difference between supposedly and supposably? Both are real words but seem to have confusingly similar definitions. Supposably: Capable of being supposed : conceivable ...
14
votes
3answers
21k views

What is the difference between “none of …” and “neither of”? [closed]

What's the difference between the following examples: Neither of my teachers are mathematicians. None of my teachers are mathematicians.
13
votes
10answers
23k views

Difference between “question” and “query”

What is the difference between a question and a query? It seems that in certain circumstances, the words are interchangeable: I have one further question. I have one further query. But, ...
12
votes
4answers
10k views

What are: province, territory, protectorate, state…?

Often a country will have regions called "provinces" or "states". Other times they are called "territories" and "protectorates". Is there a generic term for these words? Is there a full list of ...
11
votes
6answers
15k views

What is the difference between “citizen” and “denizen”

Citizen: 1. A legally recognized subject ornational of a state or commonwealth, either native or naturalized. 2. An inhabitant of a particular town or city. Denizen: 1. An inhabitant or occupant of a ...
11
votes
3answers
51k views

What's the difference between “imbalance” and “unbalance”?

Is there a difference in usage between imbalance and unbalance as nouns? Specifically, we are designing a product where we measure three (3) related quantities continuously. These three quantities ...
7
votes
6answers
22k views

What is the difference between “Class of 2004” and “Batch of 2004”?

What is the difference between "Class of 2004" and "Batch of 2004"? I have a feeling that one means the students who joined the university in 2004 and the other means those who graduated in 2004. Is ...
6
votes
4answers
57k views

“Lept” vs. “leapt” vs. “leaped”

After reading this discussion, I'd like to know what example sentences distinguish the meaning of the words lept, leapt, and leaped from each other?
25
votes
6answers
14k views

What is the difference between “archetype” and “prototype”?

I'm very confused by the difference between "archetype" and "prototype", and even more baffled when to use which. Can someone clarify?
17
votes
4answers
79k views

Bachelor thesis or Bachelor's thesis

During my final year at university, I wrote what I thought was a "bachelor thesis". Right before printing it I stumbled upon several documents stating the name "bachelor's thesis". (Here we do not ...
15
votes
1answer
80k views

What is the difference between “in-between” and “between”?

Do in-between and between have different meanings? What is the difference between in-between and between?
9
votes
8answers
56k views

Difference between “little” and “small”

Is there a difference between them? If so, how and when are they used? For example: I fixed a little/small typo.
9
votes
4answers
12k views

What's the difference between orthography and spelling?

The terms "spelling" and "orthography" seem to be largely synonymous. What is the difference really? Is it that "orthography" is a more formal or technical term and hence more well-defined? Or is it ...
8
votes
3answers
44k views

Relating to or related to?

I read this sentence in a book. However, it does not solve specific problems relating to a business or a profession. I often use related to instead of relating to. Is there any difference?
8
votes
5answers
17k views

Which is the proper spelling: “Adapter” or “adaptor”?

In my current project we are writing a program to convert a newer protocol to an older one. These conversion programs are being referred to as adapters, but the team cannot agree which spelling to ...
8
votes
4answers
4k views

“Just” versus “simply”

To which extent is just interchangeable with simply, as in the example? It's becoming more than just annoying. It's becoming more than simply annoying. Is just synonym of simply in just any ...
8
votes
2answers
7k views

“Also” and “as well” for conversational context

"Also" and "as well" seem to be quite similar in meaning, but I'd like to know shades in its meaning and usage, especially for everyday conversational language. What one will sound more natural and ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

“Normalization” vs. “canonicalization”

It seems both normalization and canonicalization are used to describe the effort to transform from an arbitrary form to a unique form. Is there any difference between the two words? Why is there XML ...
7
votes
2answers
10k views

What's the practical difference between “allot” and “allocate”?

I've noticed allot is usually used as an adjective (as in, "your allotted amount"), and allocate is more often used as a verb (as in, "I will allocate some resources"). Any other notable differences?
6
votes
3answers
16k views

Difference between “take a taxi” and “get a taxi”

What is difference between the following sentences? I take a taxi/bus/train. I get a taxi/bus/train.
6
votes
5answers
25k views

In navigation, what's the difference between bearing, heading, direction, and course?

Specifically, in real-world use, I would think that "course" and "heading" tend to imply a vector of movement, while "bearing" and "direction" might refer only to which way one is facing. I am ...
5
votes
2answers
4k views

Difference between 'sort of', 'kind of' and 'somewhat'?

I was told that these three phases have the same meanings, but I want to know if there are any differences between them: sort of kind of somewhat
5
votes
3answers
20k views

What's the difference between a proverb and an idiom?

I think I have a notion what is what but maybe you know a good definition what is what? For example "Hindsight is always 20:20" — is that a proverb or an idiom?
3
votes
5answers
10k views

Accomplishment vs. Achievement (implicit superiority)

I elsewhere saw the difference between the two explained thusly: accomplished denoted "completed for someone else's benefit", achieved "completed by oneself". I consider it a one off, but can anyone ...
3
votes
6answers
7k views

What is the difference between “attribute” and “property”? [closed]

Could you please clear up the meaning of these two words for me? I don't understand this sentence: Attributes introduced by RDFA have names. For example, property is one such attribute.
2
votes
6answers
2k views

Is the line blurring between “accent” and “dialect”?

The definition that I have had in my head for most of my life is: dialect: a variation of the original language (usually regional), sometimes even using different vocabulary and grammar ...
21
votes
5answers
78k views

“Versus” versus “vs.” in writing

In writing, when should one use the abbreviation vs. as opposed to the full versus? This abbreviation seems to have special status from common usage. What is the origin of that, and in what writing ...
20
votes
4answers
19k views

What's the difference between “mistrust” and “distrust”?

Are mistrust and distrust synonyms? And if so, how have two such similar words coexist for so long? Google N-grams suggests the two words have coexisted since the 1700's.
17
votes
12answers
24k views

What is the difference between “quicker” and “faster”?

What is the correct word to use here and why: I will get there quicker [than you] vs. I will get there faster [than you] There must be similar adverbs for "slower".
17
votes
8answers
22k views

Difference between “condo” and “apartment”

I have never really understood the connotation of someone calling their domicile a condo over the word apartment. I have a vague feeling the former is fancier and more up-scale, but are there any ...
13
votes
5answers
42k views

Is there a semantic difference between “pedophile” and “pederast”?

If I understand the etymology of pedophile and pederast, both mean child lover. Is there a difference in their connotation? In some recent local news stories that discuss changing sex offender laws, ...
13
votes
4answers
30k views

What's the difference between the words “plate” and “dish”?

I'm confused about the words dish and plate. Could someone please explain the difference?
11
votes
8answers
23k views

What's the difference between “cup” and “glass”?

Are "cup" and "glass" the same in English? Can I call a "glass" a cup made of plastic?
11
votes
5answers
25k views

When would you say “woods”, and when would you say “forest”?

Is there any difference here at all?
10
votes
2answers
83k views

What's the difference between “dissatisfied” and “unsatisfied”?

Is there a clear-cut difference between dissatisfied and unsatisfied?
8
votes
3answers
15k views

“Contest” vs. “competition”

I've read plenty of discussions, and I wanted to know whether the following statements are true or false: contest is more casual than competition a competition relies more on intelligence while a ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

Difference between “spirit” and “soul”

What is the difference between spirit and soul? Is the word soul used for only human beings? For instance, He [Descartes] thought the brain worked as a center for the spirits of the soul.
7
votes
2answers
4k views

Different Meanings of 'Jumper' (Transatlantic embarassment)

I'm originally from Wales, now living in the USA, and as the cold weather is approaching I'm determined, this year, to start using the word sweater to describe the item of clothing I'm wearing, as ...
7
votes
5answers
63k views

“Movies” vs. “Cinema” vs. “Theater” — what's the difference?

What are the differences between going to "the movies", "the cinema", and "the theater/theatre" (ignoring the fact that theaters are also for plays and not just movies)? Personally, "movies" sounds ...
6
votes
1answer
5k views

“I love to [verb]” vs “I love [gerund]” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: Catenatives followed by infinitives and gerunds “I like to do (be) something” vs “I like doing (being) something” What is the difference between "I love to sing" and ...