I have seen the phrase " from afar" more frequently than "from far away." like in "He walked from afar." I just think it might be because the former has a bit of poem like. What do you think? Do the both have the same meaning, and can they be used in the same way? Please answer my question.

1 Answer 1


It's not a black-and-white difference in meaning, but, from afar usually implies movement (he came from afar), where from far away would describe an action taken while staying far away (we heard his voice from far away).

Hopefully someone can remind me if there is a grammaticistal term or explanation, all I can think of is … context? connotation?

  • It would be fun to see a list of usage even from maligned Google Books / ngrams
    – Unrelated
    Commented Feb 22, 2018 at 15:36
  • I just did a quick look at ngrams and saw that both far away and afar are dominated by verbs come and see—but that doesn't mean they aren;t used differently after their most common verbs
    – Unrelated
    Commented Feb 22, 2018 at 15:38
  • Come from far away implies were born in another country more than have just arrived from a distance, though that's really more of a convention. Commented Feb 22, 2018 at 15:40

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