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Accomplishment vs. Achievement: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on January 24, 2024
Accomplishment refers to a task or activity that has been completed successfully, while achievement is the successful attainment of an objective, often of high value or significance.

Key Differences

Accomplishment often refers to completing specific tasks or activities, possibly as part of a larger goal. Achievement, in contrast, implies reaching a significant goal or milestone, often requiring considerable effort or skill.
In a personal context, an accomplishment can be a completed task or acquired skill. An achievement, however, is often a notable success or attainment, like receiving an award.
Accomplishments can be routine or noteworthy, but they typically don’t imply the same level of recognition as achievements. Achievements are often recognized by others as significant successes or contributions.
An accomplishment can be a subjective sense of completion, while an achievement is more objective, often measurable and widely acknowledged.
Accomplishments can be frequent and part of everyday activities. Achievements are less common and typically have a greater impact on a person's life or career.

Comparison Chart


Completion of tasks or activities
Attainment of significant goals or milestones


Personal or professional tasks
Notable successes or recognized contributions


Can be routine, not always widely recognized
Often recognized and valued by others


Subjective, can be small or large
Objective, usually significant and measurable


More frequent, part of daily life
Less common, impactful in life or career

Accomplishment and Achievement Definitions


Mastery or acquisition of a skill.
Learning to play the piano is an accomplishment I'm proud of.


Attainment of a significant goal.
Winning the award was a significant achievement in her career.


Fulfillment of an objective or responsibility.
Completing the project on time was a major accomplishment for the team.


A notable success.
His invention marked a remarkable achievement in the field of science.


A task done successfully.
Organizing the charity event was an accomplishment that brought me satisfaction.


Accomplishment of an aim or purpose with distinction.
The team's achievement of a new sales record was celebrated by the company.


Completion of a task or activity.
Finishing the marathon was a great personal accomplishment.


Earning of a prestigious accolade or honor.
Being elected as the youngest mayor in the city's history was a great achievement.


Achievement of a personal goal.
My academic accomplishments include graduating with honors.


Realization of a high-level objective.
Climbing Mount Everest is an achievement that few can claim.


The act of accomplishing or the state of being accomplished; completion
The accomplishment of this task has taken months.


The process of achieving something
She devoted her life to the achievement of voting rights for women.


Something carried out or completed successfully; an achievement
She was honored for her many accomplishments as a researcher.


How is an achievement different?

It's the attainment of significant, often recognized goals.

Can small tasks be considered accomplishments?

Yes, any completed task can be an accomplishment.

What defines an accomplishment?

Completing a task or achieving a personal goal.

Are achievements always publicly recognized?

Often, but not always; personal achievements may be privately acknowledged.

Is learning a new skill an accomplishment or achievement?

It's typically an accomplishment, but can be an achievement if it leads to significant recognition.

Is writing a book an accomplishment or achievement?

Writing a book is an accomplishment, but if it gains significant recognition, it becomes an achievement.

Do accomplishments require hard work?

They can range from simple tasks to challenging projects.

Are accomplishments always positive?

Generally, though they can be neutral depending on the context.

How do accomplishments impact a career?

They can contribute to professional growth and opportunities.

Can achievements be negative?

They're usually positive, but in some contexts, they might be seen as negative.

How do accomplishments and achievements differ in a workplace?

Accomplishments are task completions, while achievements are significant contributions or successes.

Can one achievement comprise multiple accomplishments?

Yes, achievements can be built on several smaller accomplishments.

Is graduating college an accomplishment or achievement?

It's considered an achievement due to its significance and recognition.

What role do achievements play in personal development?

They are milestones that reflect growth and success.

Can an achievement be a personal milestone?

Yes, personal milestones like running a marathon can be achievements.

Can the same act be both an accomplishment and achievement?

Yes, depending on its significance and the context.

How do people measure accomplishments?

Often by personal standards or set objectives.

Can everyday tasks be accomplishments?

Yes, daily tasks completed successfully are accomplishments.

Are achievements always difficult to attain?

Typically, they require considerable effort or skill.

Is recognition essential for an achievement?

Not always, but it often accompanies achievements.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
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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