Difference Between Amid and Amidst

The difference between Amid and Amidst is mainly stylistic. In other words, there is no semantic difference (change in meaning) between amid and amidst. Both words are used in the sense ‘in the middle of’ or ‘surrounded by’. A slight difference, however, lies in the usage of the words. Amid is the most commonly used, out of these two prepositions.

Amid

Amid is a preposition that gives out the meaning, “surrounded by” or “in the middle of”. This is used both in British and American English. Take a look at the sentences given below.

“He bought a farmhouse set amid beautiful countryside.”

“Minister moved slowly amid the crowds.”

“He ran home, amid heavy rain.”

In all these examples, amid gives out the meaning, ‘surrounded by’ and’ in the middle of’. The first example describes a house surrounded by the countryside while the second describes how the minster walked in the middle of a crowd.

In certain cases, Amid also gives out the meanings like “against the backdrop of”, “throughout the course of” etc.

Examples:

“The attack came amid a major upsurge in violence across the country.”

“The military operation started amid fears for the safety of people in the country.”

Difference between amid and amidst

He bought a cabin, set amid magnificent rolling countryside.

Amidst

Amidst has the same meaning as amid. However, amidst is used in British English and not in American English. This has now become more of an archaic term and is mostly used in literature. According to Oxford dictionary, amidst is a variant of amid. We can replace amid with amidst in the above examples, since both prepositions mean the same. Below given are some more examples.

Examples:

“Should the whole frame of Nature round him break,

In ruin and confusion hurled,

He, unconcerned, would hear the mighty crack,

And stand secure amidst a falling world.”

(Translation of Horace, Odes, Book III, ode iii.)

“I stood amidst the familiar instruments, wondering where to begin.”

Difference between Amid and Amidst

Meaning

Amid means “surrounded by”, “in the middle of “, “during”or”against the backdrop of”.

Amidst also gives out the same meaing.

British English vs American English

Amid is used in both British and American English.

Amidst is not much used in American English.

Usage

Amid is commonly used.

Amidst has a literary usage and is often considered an archaic word.

Reference:

 Quotes.” YourDictionary, n.d. Web. 20 August 2015. </>

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.


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