What's the difference between addendum and supplement? The way I see it they both mean pretty much the same thing. It's something added to something else to complete it. I think supplement can be used in a wider, more general sense, while addendum is used in published works like books, more or less. In a way, it seems to me that they overlap each other. But does that mean that they are synonymous?

  • If their meanings overlap at all, the most sensible definition of 'synonym' demands that they are synonyms. From grammar.about.com, 'A synonym is a word having the same or nearly the same meaning as another word in certain contexts'. If 'in every context' were demanded, there would be no (or extremely few) synonyms. // What do dictionaries have to say about your two synonyms? Commented Sep 2, 2014 at 21:48

1 Answer 1


An addendum is added to the end of a document to:

  1. make corrections that could not be made "in-line"
  2. last minute changes
  3. clarifications

The material in an addendum usually threads back directly to specific parts of the main text.

A supplement is added to the end of a document to:

  1. give background material
  2. supply additional related material

The material in a supplement is a little more "stand-alone" and enhances the reader's understanding. They are related, but I don't think they are synonymous.

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