Difference Between Dinner and Supper

Main Difference – Dinner vs Supper

In some parts of the US, dinner and supper are used interchangeably; in some parts of the world, dinner refers to the last meal of the day, whereas supper is the last meal in some other parts. There is a lot of confusion regarding these two terms. The main difference between dinner and supper is their usage. Dinner can be used to indicate a formal, grand and sophisticated meal whereas supper can be used to indicate an informal and light meal.Difference Between Dinner and Supper - infographic

What is Dinner

 Dinner is the principal meal of the day, taken either around midday or in the evening. However, the term dinner can have many different meanings depending on the culture; it can refer to a meal of any size eaten at any time of the day. Dinner is usually preceded by breakfast and lunch. However, in some regions, the meal eaten at noon (lunch) is known as dinner. Traditionally, dinner was referred to the first meal of the day, taken before noon.

Dinner can also refer to a formal evening meal, typically one in honor of a person or event. A banquet, feast or a special meal eaten on a holiday is always known as dinner, not supper. Christmas dinner and thanksgiving dinner are examples for this. Moreover, we generally invite people to dinner, not to supper.

Main Difference - Dinner vs Supper

What is Supper

Supper is an evening meal, typically light and informal. The word supper is also used to refer to a late-evening snack. In some parts of the world, supper and dinner are interchangeable. In Saskatchewan and much of Atlantic Canada, supper is the main meal of the day, taken in the late afternoon and dinner is the mid-day meal.

A major distinction between dinner and supper is that dinner is usually associated with sophistication and grandeur whereas supper is light and informal. It can refer to a simple family meal eaten in the kitchen.

Difference Between Dinner and Supper

Difference Between Dinner and Supper


Dinner is the main meal of the day, taken either around midday or in the evening.

Supper is an evening meal, typically a light or informal one.


Dinner can be taken around noon or in the evening.

Supper is taken in the evening.


Dinner may refer to a formal, sophisticated meal.

Supper may refer to a very informal meal.


Dinner is usually a heavy meal since it is the main meal.

Supper is a light meal.

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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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