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

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2
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the difference between “pliable” and “pliant”?

I am confused between pliable and pliant. What's the difference? The explanation in the Oxford Dictionary seems vague: pliable 1. easily bent; flexible [quality leather is ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the difference between 'Use' and 'Make use of'?

When should I use which? E.g.: To use something. vs To make use of something.
8
votes
2answers
47k views

What is the difference between “inflection” and “intonation”?

And which is utilized when turning this... The monkey is fat. ...into a question: The monkey is fat?
11
votes
5answers
22k views

Differences between “propensity”, “predilection” and “proclivity”

Propensity, predilection and proclivity all have the meaning of tendency, so what's the difference? Are they interchangeable?
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Usage of “cowardly” and “coward”

I recently discovered that cowardly, which looks like an adverb, is actually also an adjective. So far so good. Then what is the difference between cowardly and coward, and is there any preferential ...
3
votes
4answers
608 views

posteriori and posterior

What are the differences in meaning and usage between posteriori and posterior? Particularly in probability, statistics and logic, when should I use which? For example, why are "max a posteriori" ...
7
votes
2answers
10k views

Difference between “distinctive” and “distinct” [duplicate]

What's the difference between distinctive and distinct? My understanding is that something being distinctive means it has the power of differentiating between two things or making something different ...
3
votes
3answers
10k views

“Disbalanced” vs. “unbalanced”

What are the differences in usage between disbalanced and unbalanced?
26
votes
5answers
28k views

Is there a difference between “treble” and “triple”?

I've been reading The Economist lately and noticed that the magazine uses both trebled and tripled. According to my dictionary, "treble" means "threefold; triple". Is there a subtle difference, not ...
4
votes
1answer
750 views

Difference in usage and connotation between “attenuate” and “extenuate”

What is the difference between attenuate and extenuate in terms of their usage and connotation?
2
votes
2answers
3k views

“Shepherding” vs. “sheepherding”

What is the difference between shepherding and sheepherding (sheep herding?)? What is the difference between shepherd and sheepherder? I had only heard shepherd until I found sheepherder on a page ...
5
votes
3answers
22k 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?
5
votes
1answer
7k views

“Notepad” vs. “notebook” — what's the difference?

Can you please tell me the difference between a notepad and a notebook (as in paper, not electronic ones)? To me, they are the same but I guess there must be some difference.
5
votes
3answers
4k views

“Unexplainable” vs “Inexplicable”

What is the difference between unexplainable and inexplicable? Are they exact synonyms or are there situations where one is preferred over the other? Is unexplainable a clumsy modern variant (...
8
votes
4answers
101k views

Difference between “selfish” and “self-centered”

Is there a difference between the meaning of selfish and self-centered? I have seen some using them identically. If there is a difference who would you like to hang out with: a selfish person or a ...
10
votes
4answers
35k views

“Functionalities” vs “features” - what's the difference?

How are those two words different? Are they considered synonyms, especially when describing computer software?
5
votes
2answers
986 views

Difference between “pull over” and “pull away”

What is the difference between pull over and pull away? I am still trying to get used to American English. It seems like if I do not understand the driving vocabulary I am going to fail in the driving ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Difference between “remain” and “be left”

What is the difference between remain and be left? Which sentence below is correct or normal? An ace of spades remained. An ace of spades was left.
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Difference between “thesis” and “dissertation” [closed]

Is there a difference between thesis and dissertation in a British academic context? I saw that thesis was more used at Masters level while dissertation at PhD level but would like a confirmation.
10
votes
5answers
27k views

What's the difference between a graph, a chart, and a plot?

A graph, a chart, and a plot can all refer to the same thing. Is there any even somewhat consistent distinction in these three words? (I mean, in this particular sense of the words; it is not ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Difference between “calculus” and “calculi”

What is the difference between calculus and calculi? Both of these words are used to identify formal languages in computer science (e.g. π-calculus, λ-calculus, process calculi).
4
votes
4answers
72k views

What's the difference between “my love” and “my lover”?

What's the difference between "my love" and "my lover" ? Or do they have the same meaning ?
17
votes
6answers
22k views

Distinction between “pillage” and “plunder”

Both pillage and plunder refer to the taking of goods by force. What is the distinction in how the two words are used? Specifically, (due to a recent argument) do pirates only plunder, or can they ...
7
votes
1answer
51k views

“This” vs “that” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Using “that” and “this” interchangeably I wanted to know the differences between this and that. When do you use one or the other? For example: ...
3
votes
7answers
7k views

Do “asymmetric” and “dissymmetric” have different meaning?

I get that usually a- (or un-) and di- prefixes mean different things, e.g. uninterested and disinterested. However, both asymmetric and dissymmetric refer to the lack of symmetry (which the NOAD ...
6
votes
4answers
21k views

Difference between “instantly” and “instantaneously”

Is there a case in which "instantaneously" can be used in which "instantly" cannot? If not, why does the former exist? If so, what are the circumstances dictating that usage?
0
votes
3answers
23k views

“I understand you” vs “I do understand you” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the difference in meaning between “I play” and “I do play”? What is the difference between "I understand you" and "I do understand you", and ...
20
votes
2answers
184k views

'I get it' vs. 'I got it'

When someone tells me something, how should I respond, "I get it" or "I got it"? I have a feeling that "I got it" means "I already knew the thing before you told me," and "I get it" means "Now I know ...
12
votes
4answers
68k views

Semantic difference between “engine” and “motor” [closed]

Is there a semantic difference between engine and motor? In some cases, would the use of one or the other word be technically incorrect?
11
votes
4answers
9k views

“Paradise” vs. “heaven”

What is the difference in use between "paradise" and "heaven"? I feel that heaven is more spiritual, something that probably couldn't even be imagined. When you say paradise, you can denote something ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the difference between “to allege” and “to claim”?

What is the difference between to allege and to claim? Can I use them interchangeably? Or perhaps I can only allege something illegal? For example, from CNET: Over the past several months, the ...
3
votes
1answer
7k views

Is there a difference between saying a place is “well-lighted” versus “well-lit” or is it just stylistic? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What's the difference between “well-lighted” and “well-lit”? I feel that "well-lit" means there is enough light whereas "well-lighted" implies ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

“Iterate” and “iteration” as nouns

What are the differences between iterate and iteration as nouns? I don't quite understand the definition of iterate as noun: A quantity arrived at by iteration For example, in computer ...
3
votes
2answers
12k views

“Fillet” or “filet”

My significant other asked me today whether or not she should use a fillet or filet of steak in a recipe. What is the difference between fillet and filet, and the history behind these words? Is there ...
3
votes
5answers
9k views

“Demonstratable” — a dictionary word, or just a well known hack?

Someone has just pointed out a mis-spelling on my site - demonstratable, as in "demonstratable experience of...". I can't see it in the New Oxford American Dictionary or the Oxford Dictionary of ...
1
vote
2answers
13k views

Difference between “Coming weekend” and “This weekend”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Next Friday” vs. “This Friday” Consider the following statements: I'll meet you coming wednesday I'll meet you next wednesday I'll meet ...
8
votes
1answer
33k views

Difference between “persistence” and “perseverance” [closed]

Persistence and perseverance seem to have very similar definitions. Googling shows persistence: Firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition. ...
8
votes
4answers
791 views

“Back up data” or “back data up”?

Which is correct? To back up data. To back data up. The context is the following: He was careful enough to perform tests and [back up data | back data up] to avoid any problems.
0
votes
6answers
27k views

“Consumable” and “non-consumable” in reference to electronic items

How do you describe the difference between consumable and non-consumable electronic items?
2
votes
6answers
3k views

“Optimal” vs. “ideal”

I was wondering when to use which because both optimal and ideal convey the same meaning to me. For e.g., comparing these two usages: This is the optimal temperature for the machine to work ...
11
votes
10answers
48k views

“Integrity” vs. “honesty”—what's the difference?

In what situations would you say that someone "has integrity" as opposed to "behaves with honesty"? For instance, if an employee is meticulous about reporting his hours, does he have integrity or is ...
3
votes
4answers
13k views

Differences among point, grade and mark

I do not know how they are different when they are used as a grading system ? Can I say a pointing system or a marking system?
20
votes
3answers
33k views

Difference between “scheme” and “schema” [closed]

What is the difference between scheme and schema? Where do you use one and not the other? schema a diagram, plan, or scheme. Synonyms: outline, framework, model. an underlying organizational ...
1
vote
3answers
6k views

Differences between “pig” and “hog”

What are the differences between pig and hog? The writer of this article wrote them consecutively, separated by only a comma. Searching Google images result in the same type of animal. The differences ...
-2
votes
3answers
7k views

Difference between “public relations” and “human relations” [closed]

The other day I was looking at the various job positions in the newspaper just for my knowledge and found that a few companies had public relations officer post and some had human relations officer ...
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.
1
vote
2answers
409 views

“Certify” vs. “certificate” [closed]

As verbs, what are the differences and relation between certify and certificate? For example, in human resources, why is it effort certify not effort certificate?
6
votes
4answers
6k views

Mix and Mixture

What is considered the correct usage of mix versus mixture? As an example, is either of these two sentences considered to be more correct grammatically than the other? 1) The trip was a mix of ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

“Firehouse” vs. “fire station”

In the United States, is firehouse used specifically to refer to the fire station in small town?
2
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the difference between “peasant” and “villager”?

Can anyone explain to me the difference between peasant and villager? I can see that peasant refers to a social class, and villager refers to a physical location, but are these words interchangeable?