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

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4answers
4k views

Difference between “garbage” and “trash”?

What's the difference between garbage and trash? Is the difference significant?
9
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2answers
850 views

Any differences between “slander” and “libel”?

Are there any differences between slander and libel?
9
votes
2answers
13k views

What's the difference between 'cutlery', 'silverware' and 'crockery'?

What's the difference between 'cutlery', 'silverware' and 'crockery'? Are there any differences between them?
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there a difference between “eatable” and “edible”?

I thought only edible was correct, even Google suggested edible when I did a search to see which one was more popular on the internet: Edible: 17.2 million Eatable: 2.2 million The first results ...
9
votes
5answers
4k views

Difference between “laconic” and “concise”?

Those two words both seem to be about using a few words/a few steps to do something.
9
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3answers
5k views

What's the difference between “blond” and “blonde”?

I hear all the time that one word is for males and the other is for females but I'm skeptical...
9
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
714 views

Clarion call vs rallying cry

I'm studying for the GRE, and there was this one question (sentence completion) where I had to choose between selecting "clarion call" or "rallying cry" as the answer. What is the distinction between ...
9
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3answers
13k views

Difference between “classical” and “classic”

What's the difference between classical and classic? Should we say classic content in textbooks or classical content in textbooks?
9
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3answers
24k views

What is the difference between “metaphorical”, “allegorical”, and “figurative”?

What is the difference between metaphorical, allegorical, and figurative?
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7answers
2k views

Simple sentences that demonstrate differences among similar-looking words [closed]

While searching online for the difference between "sometime" and "some time", I stumbled upon this page. At the middle of the page you can see these two sentences that demonstrate the difference: ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

“Extract” v. “Extricate”

I was having a debate with my family about the differences between the usage of extract and extricate. For example, can one extricate a non-living item? Can one extricate a hair? We have heard of ...
9
votes
3answers
7k views

Rule for using “for” vs. “to”

A Brazilian friend speaks English very well, but has a very unique habit: it seems often that she needs to use "for" but she instead uses "to", and vice-versa. For instance: The present is to ...
9
votes
8answers
13k views

“Experienced” vs. “seasoned”

Are these two words interchangeable? According to the Oxford dictionary, experienced means having knowledge or skill in a particular job or activity, while seasoned having a lot of experience in a ...
9
votes
2answers
571 views

Difference between “Labyrinth” and “Maze”

I know the two are pretty much synonymous: labyrinth a complicated irregular network of passages or paths in which it is difficult to find one’s way; a maze maze a network of paths and ...
9
votes
3answers
12k views

Difference between “choose” and “select”

These two words are often used interchangeably and the greatest difference I can find between the two is "choose" for choosing multiple items from a set, and "select" for selecting a single item from ...
9
votes
4answers
7k views

What is the distinction between “role” and “rôle” [with a circumflex]?

One of our users, Stan Rogers, mentioned there was such a distinction, I think, when he answered a question and talked about how the orthography of foreign loan-words typically changes to conform with ...
9
votes
1answer
31k 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
2answers
3k views

Is there any difference between “switch” and “swap”?

Is there any difference between switch and swap?
9
votes
3answers
16k views

“Often” and “oftentimes”

Is there any difference between the two terms 'often' and 'oftentimes'? They seem to be used interchangeably but is one more appropriate in certain situations than others? Is 'oftentimes' an older ...
9
votes
5answers
18k views

What's the difference between a picture and an image?

What's the difference between a picture and an image? I think this is the missing question as these have already been asked: Picture/Photo Image/Glyph Photo/Image
9
votes
2answers
14k views

What's the difference between “apparel” and “clothing”?

Those two words seems referring to one thing.
9
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2answers
14k views

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

I am interested in the difference between these to seemingly synonymous terms.
9
votes
1answer
9k views

“Dependence” vs. “dependency”

These are two words that have baffled me for long. Dependency is given as 'excessive dependence' in Chambers, but I would love to know how the spoken usage is. My guess is dependency has a political ...
9
votes
4answers
35k views

Get hold of, get ahold of, get a hold of

Under what circumstances would you prefer one of the below over others? a) Get hold of, b) Get ahold of, c) Get a hold of
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votes
2answers
13k views

“Chalice” vs. “goblet”

Is there a difference between chalice and goblet, other than (maybe) religious connotations on the word chalice?
9
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2answers
10k views

What is the difference between a “stanza” and a “verse”, as applied to English literature?

What is the difference between 'stanza' and 'verse' in English Literature (Poetry)? I've read one of my classmate's essays and the word 'verse' cropped up - I thought that the word 'verse' was usually ...
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4answers
23k views

What's the difference between “yet another” and “another”?

What's the difference between yet another and another?
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votes
4answers
520 views

Is lolspeak bad English, or just a different English?

Is lolspeak / internet speak (such as "plz send teh codez") bad English, or a different English? I can't really describe what'd be "bad", but a lack of consistency would be an indicator it's bad.
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votes
4answers
398 views

“Dance macabre” or “macabre dance”

The role is the kind of high-wire dare certain types of actors and directors cannot resist. T. Scott Cunningham, who has created a number of lovable losers onstage in the last decade, lets the ...
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7answers
7k views

Is there any difference in meaning between “faith” and “blind faith”?

To use the term blind faith, is to use an adjective needlessly. I had heard the above quote from a positivist friend some time ago. Also, the dictionaries define "faith" as a "belief that is ...
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3answers
24k views

Are there any differences between “oval” and “ellipse”?

Are there any differences between "oval" and "ellipse"?
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3answers
1k views

What is the difference between “onerous” and “arduous”?

Is there any difference in the meaning of these words? Which one of them is used the most in everyday conversation? In my vocabulary for both words I've found essentially the same meaning: "difficult ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

What's the difference between “hallow”, “sacred”, “holy” and “saint”? [closed]

Hallow, sacred, holy and saint seem to resemble each other but are not identical. So what's the difference between them? I have searched http://dictionary.babylon.com and spotted: Hallow: ...
8
votes
2answers
4k views

What is the difference, if any, between 'porn' and 'porno'?

I had never thought of a potential difference between 'porn' and 'porno' until I encountered the following dialogue from Family Guy Season 9 Episode 9(thanks to FumbleFingers for reminding me the ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Difference between “impel” and “compel”

What is the difference between impel and compel?
8
votes
6answers
324 views

Word to describe pets that can be uncomfortable to live with?

I cannot figure out how to word this. I'm creating a rental system and have a question with regard to pets contained within a residence. But there are different types of pets. For example, a dog who ...
8
votes
2answers
896 views

Is there a clear delineation between the usages of 'this' and 'that' in American English?

One of my linguistics professors speaks English as a second language, and remarked that she never knows which of the two is appropriate. Given a list of examples, all native speakers in the classroom ...
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4answers
42k 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?
8
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5answers
3k views

That which is vulgar, obscene, or profane (title reflects contents)

When I look up the word "fuck" in the dictionary, I see that it is listed as a vulgar term. However, if I use it in church, I might be scolded for speaking profanity in the Lord's house. If I use it ...
8
votes
2answers
5k views

Differences between “technic” and “technique”

Are those synonyms? Is one more acceptable in a certain dialect than the other? I checked their definition on The Free Dictionary but it's still not clear to me.
8
votes
3answers
840 views

What is the relationship between canon and cannon?

The spelling is similar and the meaning so different. Wiktionary indicates that there might be some relation by linking to canon from cannon but I didn't see any specific statements regarding their ...
8
votes
4answers
634 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.
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5answers
1k 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.
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3answers
2k views

How do the terms “fanboy” and “fangirl” differ from the generic term “fan?”

Prompted by the question: " How did kool-aid come to be the drink of fanboys? " Wikipedia's explanation on "Fanboy (disambiguation)" provides: A fanboy is a person considered to belong to one or ...
8
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4answers
3k views

What's up with all the words ending with “-eth” in the Bible? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What happened to the “-est” and “-eth” verb suffixes in English? How were they once used? With all this rapture thing going on now, I noticed ...
8
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3answers
2k views

What is the difference between “onetime” and “one time”?

I was reading a book that had a sentence containing this: ...onetime commissioner of New York...
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8answers
12k views

“have” vs.“have got” in American and British English

I have looked through several questions and answers on EL&U, and often there is an indication that American English prefers "have" while British English prefers "have got". In addition, there are ...
8
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5answers
30k views

What's the difference between “on the contrary” and “in contrast”

Is there any difference between these two phrases? Is there any context in which we only can use one rather than the other?
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4answers
54k 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 ...