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Academy Award vs. Oscar Award: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on February 22, 2024
The Academy Award is the official name of the award, while "Oscar" is its popular nickname.

Key Differences

The term "Academy Award" refers to the prestigious awards given by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. "Oscar" is the colloquial name for the same award, derived from its iconic statuette.
The Academy Awards are a ceremony and a set of accolades recognizing excellence in cinema. The term "Oscar" specifically refers to the statuette awarded, embodying the Academy's recognition.
"Academy Award" represents the formal and official aspect of the honor, reflecting its origin and institutional backing. The nickname "Oscar," in contrast, is more familiar and widely used in popular culture.
The usage of "Academy Award" often appears in formal contexts and official communications, while "Oscar" is commonly used in media, public discussions, and casual conversations.
Both "Academy Award" and "Oscar" are synonymous in their reference to the same accolade, but they differ in formality and usage context, the former being official and the latter colloquial.

Comparison Chart


Formal and official term
Colloquial and informal nickname


Named after the awarding body
Named after the statuette's nickname


Used in official and ceremonial contexts
Common in media and casual speech


Represents the institution and its prestige
Symbolizes the iconic status of the award

Cultural Perception

Associated with the ceremony's tradition and history
Reflects the award's popularity and public familiarity

Academy Award and Oscar Award Definitions

Academy Award

A symbol of excellence in film industry.
An Academy Award on the shelf is a sign of a successful career in Hollywood.

Oscar Award

An iconic golden statuette given to winners in the film industry.
Holding an Oscar is a moment of pride for any filmmaker.

Academy Award

A prestigious annual award recognizing cinematic achievements.
Winning an Academy Award is a dream for many actors.

Oscar Award

A nickname for the Academy Award.
He finally won an Oscar after years of brilliant performances.

Academy Award

A formal recognition of outstanding contributions to cinema.
She received an Academy Award for her groundbreaking direction.

Oscar Award

A colloquial term for the most prestigious film award.
Every director dreams of the day they can win an Oscar.

Academy Award

The official title of the award commonly known as the Oscar.
The Academy Award ceremony is a major event in the entertainment calendar.

Oscar Award

A popular term for the top honor in the movie business.
Winning an Oscar is a hallmark of cinematic achievement.

Academy Award

An accolade presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
The Academy Award for Best Picture is highly coveted.

Oscar Award

A symbol of peer recognition in Hollywood.
Her Oscar for Best Actress was well-deserved.


Are the terms "Academy Award" and "Oscar" interchangeable?

Yes, "Academy Award" and "Oscar" refer to the same award, though "Academy Award" is the official name.

How many categories are there in the Academy Awards?

The number of categories in the Academy Awards can vary, typically around 24.

Can anyone win an Academy Award?

Only individuals in the film industry nominated by their peers can win an Academy Award.

What is the Academy Award?

The Academy Award is a prestigious honor given by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for excellence in cinema.

Who votes for the Academy Awards?

Members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences vote for the Academy Awards.

Can foreign films win Academy Awards?

Yes, foreign films can win Academy Awards, especially in the Best International Feature Film category.

When are the Academy Awards held?

The Academy Awards are usually held annually in early spring.

Why is the Academy Award called an Oscar?

The nickname "Oscar" for the Academy Award comes from the statuette's resemblance to a man named Oscar, though the exact origin is unclear.

How does one get nominated for an Academy Award?

Academy members nominate individuals or films in their respective branches.

How long is the Academy Award ceremony?

The Academy Award ceremony typically lasts about three to four hours.

Can documentaries win Academy Awards?

Yes, documentaries can win Academy Awards, particularly in the documentary categories.

What is the Oscar statuette made of?

The Oscar statuette is made of gold-plated bronze.

Can a film win multiple Academy Awards?

Yes, a film can win multiple Academy Awards in different categories.

What is the significance of winning an Academy Award?

Winning an Academy Award is a recognition of excellence and can significantly boost a career in the film industry.

What impact does an Oscar have on a film's success?

Winning an Oscar can increase a film's visibility, box office earnings, and historical significance.

Is the Oscar statuette valuable?

Yes, the Oscar statuette is valuable, both in terms of material and prestige.

Are Academy Awards given posthumously?

Yes, Academy Awards can be awarded posthumously.

Has anyone ever refused an Academy Award?

Yes, there have been rare instances where individuals have refused an Oscar.

Is there an Academy Award for animated films?

Yes, there is an Academy Award category for Best Animated Feature.

Can a person win multiple Oscars in a single night?

Yes, it's possible to win multiple Oscars in one night for different contributions.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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