Difference Between Amid and Amidst

Main Difference

Amidst” is just a slightly older (and chiefly British) variant of “amid.” The meaning is the same for both. It’s practically equal to among. Two meanings: “surrounded by”, “in the middle of” ,”in at atmosphere of”, “against a background of”. Often “amid” and “amidst” are confused with “among” or “amongst.” While these words are very similar in meaning and both have the same ending, there is a subtle difference to be noted. The difference is that “among” or “amongst” has the meaning of being intermixed with distinct or separate objects. The words are very similar and are used seemingly interchangeably by English speakers. While some English speakers seem to prefer one version of the word over the other, some use both.

What is Amid?

The general definition of amid is “in the middle of; among”

What is Amidst?

The general definition of amidst is “in the middle of; surrounded by; among, in or throughout the course of; during.

Key Differences

  1. The differences between amidst and amid (or between amongst and among) is stylistic.
  2. As compared to Amid, Amidst is considered, in American usage, to be slightly archaic and pretentious. American students are taught, when confronted with a choice between two words, to use the shorter, simpler word. Nonetheless, the longer word is sometimes the better choice in terms of style.
  3. The difference between amid and amidst actually exists in the preference and usage. This is simple because amid and amidst means exactly the same.
  4. The word amid is normally used in the sense of ‘in the middle of’ or ‘surrounded by’. So, is the word amidst.
  5. Amid and amidst are used as prepositions.
  6. British English uses both amid and amidst. American English prefers amid to amidst.
  7. Both the words possess same meaning, its just the difference in the style being british or American.
  8. Mostly amid and amidst, Amidst in used mostly in the grammar as a replacement of Amongst.
Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson

View all posts by Aimie Carlson