Difference Between Eatable and Edible

Main Difference – Eatable vs Edible

Edible and eatable are two adjectives that are used to describe the quality of food. Both these adjective imply that food is fit for human consumption. Since these two adjectives have similar meanings, they can be used as synonyms. However, there is a subtle difference in the meanings of these adjectives. The main difference between eatable and edible is that eatable is related to the taste or palatability of a food whereas edible is more associated with the safety.Difference Between Eatable and Edible - infographic

Eatable – Meaning and Usage

Eatable is an adjective that means ‘fit to be consumed as food’. Eatable basically refers to the taste of a food. Something that is eatable will taste good. You can use this adjective when you want to emphasize the palatability and the taste of a food.

Eatable is also used as a noun. When used as a noun, it simply refers to items of food. The following examples will help you to understand the meaning and usage of this word better.

This doesn’t look eatable, but it’s delicious.

I looked for any edible morsels left behind.

He complained that the food in the hostel was not eatable.

She gave me a parcel of eatables.

He told me that the food she cooked was barely eatable.

Difference Between Eatable and Edible

Edible – Meaning and Usage

Edible also means fit for human consumption. However, edible often implies that a particular food can be consumed without causing any harm to the body. For example, poisonous mushrooms are not edible. If something is poisonous and can cause harm to your body, it is not edible.

The cake was decorated with edible candles.

We managed to find some edible fruits and nuts.

This tree has small edible berries.

All the decorations on the cake were edible.

He didn’t know whether the mushrooms were edible or not.

Edible can also be used as a noun. When used as a noun, it is equivalent to ‘eatables’ or ‘food items’.

 He bought us all kinds of edibles.

Main Difference - Eatable vs Edible

Edible Mushrooms

Difference Between Eatable and Edible


Eatable refers to food that is fit to be consumed by humans.

Edible refers to food that is not harmful or poisonous.


Eatable refers to the taste and palatability.

Edible refers to the safety.

Image Courtesy:

“Good Food Display – NCI Visuals Online” By  the National Cancer Institute, an agency part of the National Institutes of Health – ID 2397 (Public Domain) via  

“Dried mushrooms” By André Karwath aka Aka – Own work, (CC BY-SA 2.5) via

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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