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I've seen questions here and here and also tried googling but it's still kinda confusing to me. Is there any difference between the meanings of "a meeting" and "a meetup", and when can/can't I use one or another?

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    Meeting is the common traditional word. However, when you arrange and publicize a meeting via Meetup (www.meetup.com), it's always called a Meetup. – Brian Hitchcock May 18 '15 at 10:01
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    A "meetup" is a meeting between geeks, generally focused fairly narrowly around a specific common interest of the attendees. A "meetup" is a "meeting", but not all "meetings" are "meetups". If you're unsure, use "meeting". – Hot Licks May 18 '15 at 12:34
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    @HotLicks Not necessarily geeks, but yes, generally focused around a common interest. YouTube and boybands are probably the two main meetup-spawner in the world at the moment, I would guess, and geekdom is hardly the most prevalent common denominator in the target audiences of those two. ;-) – Janus Bahs Jacquet Sep 15 '15 at 18:43
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A meetup is less formal, which tends to be of less importance.

A meeting is the appropriate word and tends to be of greater importance.

You can see a meetup as an informal reunion with not important results at the end of it, and a reunion where is more about socializing.

You can see a meeting as a formal reunion where the participants desire an important change at the end of it.

If you can, always use the word meeting.

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The term "meeting" is generally used in more formal terms, usually for business or professional scenarios.

the term "meetup" is generally used outside of professional/workplace situations. Most people use this term when catching up with friends in a social manner.

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    No, they don’t—not commonly, anyway. They may very likely use the phrasal verb to meet up [with someone], but if you’re meeting up with your friends, that’s not a meetup. It’s just hanging out. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Sep 15 '15 at 18:44
  • def: meetup: n. an informal meeting or gathering. – adamcatto Sep 15 '15 at 20:22
  • Informal, yes; but still planned and executed as a gathering of a group of people, to a greater extent than just having a coffee with a couple of mates. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Sep 15 '15 at 21:14
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"Meeting" is more appropriate than "meetup" in formal situations. You normally wouldn't say, for example, "I arranged a meetup with a potential client." You could, though, use "meetup" for getting together with friends and acquaintances, or for groups of people who have arranged to meet informally.
"Meeting" also usually suggests that there is a specific purpose for getting together with the other person or people (for example, to talk business or discuss something important), whereas the people coming together for a "meetup" could simply be getting together to chat or hang out.

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  • Additionally, "meetup" is a ridiculously young word (if even considered that). Take from that what you will. View Ngram here: goo.gl/IcJjjL – Quillmondo May 18 '15 at 5:43
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For example,

We have a very important meeting at 2 pm at the Big Lebowski conf room. The highlight of the meeting is the meet-up between all the collaborators of the project to initiate the project. And then at 8 pm, we will have a dinner meet-up at the Giant Tree hotel to continue in cordial and informal manner what we would intend to accomplish at the Big Lebowski meeting.

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It depends on many factors, e.g. where you live or work. Where I am, "meetup" is very common, but there is always a specific purpose to the gathering. Though more informal than a meeting; a "meetup" is very different from "hanging out".

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