Is there any relation or difference between warranty and guarantee? What do they mean? In what situations do we use them? For example, I suppose we say

When we buy something it has a warranty.


5 Answers 5


I would say there is a difference:


"a formal assurance that certain conditions will be fulfilled, especially that a product will be of a specified quality"


"a written guarantee promising to repair or replace an article if necessary within a specified period." ...

A warranty is a type of guarantee; in the case of a product guarantee/product warranty, it's basically the same thing - the company undertakes to repair or replace your goods if they go wrong. Guarantee can also be used to express:

"I promise, this plane will fly."

"I guarantee you, this plane will fly."

You also can check these definitions: link: warranty; link: guarantee


The difference is legal, not linguistic. Both terms are meaningful in the context of a contract or bargain. A guarantee is a promise that, if a thing is not of a certain standard or does not fulfil some condition, the original price or consideration paid for the contract or bargain will be returned. For example, if A sells an item to B and guarantees that it will produce 20 widgets a day, B can return the item to A for a full refund if it does not, in fact, produce 20 widgets a day. Similarly, C can guarantee A’s debt to B, so that, if A fails to pay B, C, the guarantor, is obliged to pay B instead.

A warranty is a term of a contract, breach of which gives rise to a claim for damages, but not the repudiation of the whole contract. For example, if A sells an item to B and warrants that it can produce 20 widgets per day, but in fact it produces only 19, B can bring an action for damages against A for the lesser of (1) the cost of fixing the item such that it does in fact produce 20 widgets per day; or (2) the loss of profit associated with the production of 19 as opposed to 20 widgets. B cannot, however, return the item for a full refund.

In the consumer goods context, where statute provides in many countries for a manufacturer’s warranty, a warranty usually connotes that the warrantor may repair or replace a product which has developed a fault during the warranty period as a result of a defect in design or manufacture at the warrantor’s discretion. The fact that the warrantor may choose to repair the product, and not give a refund, is what distinguishes this from a guarantee. The phrase “money back guarantee” is common in the consumer context, and means just that, although the phrase is arguably redundant.

  • 4
    +1 This answer could be improved by citing reliable sources which support your claims.
    – MetaEd
    Commented Sep 26, 2012 at 16:32


• noun: (pl. warranties) 1 a written guarantee promising to repair or replace an article if necessary within a specified period.


• noun: 1 a formal assurance that certain conditions will be fulfilled, especially that a product will be of a specified quality.

Actually the error here is that most native speakers use them interchangeably and it has nothing to do with British, American or any other type of English.

'Warranty' has a time limit, e.g. for 12 months... and may be extendable to 24, 36 or 48 months for example.

'Guarantee' is to a standard of quality and is not time bound... and is non-extendable.

However, we are all familiar with 'Lifetime Guarantee' claims by manufacturers... which of course are non-extendable by their very definition...

Hope that helps... You can get idea from this article of Times of India refer this link

  • +1 for 'most native speakers use them interchangably'. These definitions are modern distinctions created by salespeople. The dictionary doesn't always reflect how people use the words in real life.
    – Mitch
    Commented Jul 27, 2011 at 13:36

The other answers examine usage and semantics; so I thought to address Historical Linguistics. Did you know that both words are related? They are doublets etymologically (ie: they derive from the same Germanic etymon), because Germanic -w- generally became -gu- in words borrowed into Romance languages.

2 and 3: These 2 Reddit posts also examine this phonological change.

Source: Spanish Vocabulary: An Etymological Approach by David Brodsky

Historical Note

When French and Spanish sought to adopt Germanic words beginning with the sound they faced a common problem: although this sound had existed in Classical Latin (written v5), it had disappeared from their respective languages many centuries before. But both languages still maintained the [gw] sound of Classical Latin, represented by the letter combination gu. So in the absence of a "true" [w], they used the next best thing, hence the gu- in words such as guerra, guardar, etc. "Central" French subsequently lost the element in the pronunciation of [gw], while in Spanish the element was preserved only when the following vowel was a or o6.

Norman French, on the other hand, did have the sound, and it was the Normans who conquered England in 1066 and maintained their version of "Anglo-Norman" French for some time thereafter. A number of Germanic w words arrived in English via Norman French with the sound and spelling intact, only to be joined at a later date by the same word displaying the trademark central French gu, which by that time was pronounced simply Thus in English one has the doublets: [...]

  • 1
    I have put the passage that seems to be a quotation in a block quote. If that was wrong, please change it back. It seems that some characters were accidentally omitted, for example "French subsequently lost the element [w] in the pronunciation of [gw]..." and "which by that time was pronounced simply [g]"
    – herisson
    Commented Dec 18, 2015 at 3:30
  • @sumelic +1. Thank you. Your change is 100% correct. I abstained from using blockquotes which I feared might complicate reading, but as always, I will follow your advice.
    – user50720
    Commented Dec 18, 2015 at 3:44

Warranty has more weight than guarantee. Warranty is a written agreement while guarantee is making a promise to do something.

  • 2
    This answer can be improved by citing facts or references which support it. An answer which reads like an unsupported opinion is liable to be downvoted or removed.
    – MetaEd
    Commented Sep 25, 2012 at 11:29

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