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

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11
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5answers
51k views

What is the difference between “by contrast” and “in contrast?”

Can anyone explain the difference between by contrast and in contrast?
11
votes
8answers
26k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
18k views

Difference between “packet”, “parcel” and “package”

The definition on OALD is identical for parcel and packet. parcel (especially British English) (North American English usually package) something that is wrapped in paper or put into a thick ...
11
votes
4answers
9k 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
30k 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
11
votes
3answers
4k views

Difference between 'later' and 'later on'

Is there any difference between the usage of 'later' and 'later on'? I'll see you later. I'll finish it later on.
11
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
20k 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
7k views

“Known unknown” vs. “unknown known”

I was recently reading a review of Donald Rumsfeld's autobiography. The reviewer cited one of his famous phrases; he quoted it as "unknown known." Now my memory was that the phrase Rumsfeld used was ...
10
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17answers
30k views

Difference between “game” and “sport”

Can any one tell me for meaning about the difference between game and sport in the broadest context possible? I mean, Magic: The Gathering tournament play is still a game, while hunting is ...
10
votes
4answers
694 views

“I park my car in the yard”

What is the origin of the different pronunciation of words like park, yard, cartoon, margarine in American and British English? In other words, why doesn’t British English generally pronounce the r ...
10
votes
10answers
33k 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 ...
10
votes
6answers
8k views

Difference between 'decline' and 'decrease'

I have an advanced English student who is stuck on the word 'decline'. I told him 'decline' and 'decrease' are very similar, but are not always interchangeable. It is a business English course and we ...
10
votes
3answers
5k views

Usage of “many” vs “many a”?

Can someone please elucidate the difference between "many" and "many a"? In what context of usage should we add an extra "a" beside the word "many"? For example: Many times, I had seen ...
10
votes
5answers
17k views

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

Is there any difference here at all?
10
votes
4answers
947 views

Ambiguous connotation of “just” - How do natives interpret these?

First of all, these questions are a bit related but not what I'm actually asking about: Is “I just spent all my money” grammatically incorrect? “I just ate them” and “I've just eaten them” - What's ...
10
votes
5answers
5k views

Difference between “laconic” and “concise”?

Those two words both seem to be about using a few words/a few steps to do something.
10
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5answers
1k views

“Faster, not sooner”

Over the weekend, I watched a talking head on TV saying the following sentence. An economic recovery will come faster, not sooner. I can't make proper sense of this as both are synonymous to me. ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

What's the difference between “rock” and “stone”?

What's the difference between "rock" and "stone"?
10
votes
4answers
43k 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
14k views

“Postfix” or “suffix”?

Wikipedia and The Free Dictionary were not much help — is there a practical difference in the semantics of suffix and postfix, except that the latter is more rare? File name extensions are well ...
10
votes
4answers
3k views

Hex, curse, spell, jinx, charm

I'm listening to some Harry Potter audio books, and there are so many words describing the work of the spell. One can be cursed, charmed, hexed or jinxed. What's the difference?
10
votes
8answers
16k 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?
10
votes
4answers
14k views

Which is correct: “home in” or “hone in”?

I've heard people say "Home in on something", but I've also heard others say "Hone in on something". Which is the correct expression, and what is the etymology of these?
10
votes
3answers
32k views

What's the difference between “cardinal” and “ordinal” as adjectives?

What's the difference between describing a number or place as cardinal versus ordinal? They both seem to have to do with the order of things. For example, when saying "He is the first in his class", ...
10
votes
1answer
52k views

When to use “cannot” versus “can't”?

When is it best to write "can't" versus writing "cannot"? Are they interchangeable in every situation?
10
votes
5answers
43k views

What's the difference between “client” and “customer”?

I already asked a similar question (customer vs. client vs. user vs. consumer of on-line service) but, I believe, there may be some differences between technical and legal jargon and general usage of ...
10
votes
1answer
8k views

“Broadcast” or “broadcasted”

I'm not a native English speaker, so sorry if this is a very basic question. Is broadcast a verb? If it is, what is the simple past and past participle: broadcasted?
10
votes
1answer
24k views

“Did you find” versus “have you found”

What is the difference between "Did you find?" and "Have you found?" When should I use the first sentence, and when the second one?
10
votes
3answers
157 views

Mike brought cake VS mike brought cake with him

What's the difference between these two expressions: Mike brought his guitar. Mike brought his guitar with him. How does "with him" change the meaning of the sentence?
10
votes
3answers
26k views

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

I am interested in the difference between these two seemingly synonymous terms.
10
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5answers
2k views

What is the semantic difference between “encipher” and “encrypt”?

What is the semantic difference between encipher and encrypt?
10
votes
3answers
39k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Difference in meaning between “on his job” and “in his job”

What does this sentence mean? He is working fifty percent more on his job and fifty percent less in his job. He is 100% happier.
10
votes
5answers
15k 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?
10
votes
3answers
32k 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?
9
votes
6answers
2k views

Is it absolutely necessary to use “than” over “then” in a comparison?

Do you think you are smarter then me? While this question should be using than...I have to wonder if this is a debatable topic within English or is this cut and dry? If this specific instance is ...
9
votes
9answers
251k views

What is the difference between “curd” and “yogurt”?

Most people use the words curd and yogurt interchangeably. Both are made by fermenting milk. Is there a difference between the two, or are they the same?
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Any differences between “slander” and “libel”?

Are there any differences between slander and libel?
9
votes
3answers
19k 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
4answers
12k views

What is the difference between “special” and “especial”?

I can decide accurately which to use in a given context, but I can't make out the actual difference in definition between "special" and "especial". I have searched two authoritative dictionaries to no ...
9
votes
3answers
35k views

What is the difference between optimal and optimum? [closed]

My question is exactly as the title says. Someone used "optimum" in an email to me and in my response I used "optimal," so I began wondering what the difference between them is.
9
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4answers
10k views

'Clean' vs 'Clear'

What is their difference? Please provide an example (or two if the use as verb or adjective differentiates their meanings).
9
votes
3answers
117k views

“Agree on” vs. “agree with” vs. “agree to”

What are the differences between "agree on", "agree with" and "agree to"?
9
votes
4answers
4k views

What is the difference between “grammar” and “usage”?

I'm surprised this has not been asked and answered on this Site--perhaps it has, but my search found nothing. The closest question to this one i could find sought the difference between grammar and ...
9
votes
4answers
7k 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
3answers
7k 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
1k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
23k views

“Whole” vs. “entire”

I wonder if there is a difference between the words "whole" and "entire". For example, the following sentences: I spent my whole life waiting for you. I spent my entire life waiting for you. ...
9
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...