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Amongst vs. Among: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Updated on November 13, 2023
Amongst and among are both prepositions used to indicate inclusion within a group or a number of things, with 'amongst' being a more formal or traditional variant of 'among'.

Key Differences

Amongst is often considered more formal or literary, and is more commonly used in British English. Among is more common in American English and is generally preferred in everyday speech and writing.
Both amongst and among function as prepositions to denote inclusion or being surrounded by others in a group. They can be used interchangeably without altering the meaning of a sentence.
Amongst might be found more frequently in poetic or formal contexts, adding a traditional or formal tone. Among is used in a wide range of contexts, from casual conversation to formal writing.
Amongst is the older form, historically more prevalent, but has been overtaken by among in modern usage, especially in American English. Among has become the more commonly used form in contemporary English worldwide.
Amongst might be chosen for phonetic reasons, such as euphony or rhythm in poetry or prose. Among is typically chosen for simplicity and clarity, especially in speech.

Comparison Chart


More formal, traditional
More common, modern


Favored in British English
Favored in American English


Poetic, formal writing
Casual and formal, everyday speech

Historical Usage

Older form, historically prevalent
Became more prevalent in modern usage

Phonetic Choice

Chosen for euphony or rhythm
Chosen for simplicity and clarity

Amongst and Among Definitions


In the middle of or surrounded by other things.
She found a rare flower amongst the weeds.


In the middle of or included in.
He found his lost key among the couch cushions.


Indicating a division, choice, or differentiation involving three or more participants.
The inheritance was divided amongst her three children.


Surrounded by; in the company of.
She sat among her friends at the cafe.


Included as part of a group or number.
He was amongst the winners of the competition.


Involved in or with.
She has a good reputation among her colleagues.


In the company of; surrounded by.
The wolf moved stealthily amongst the sheep.


Occurring in or shared by (some members of a group or community).
Dissatisfaction was growing among the staff.


Occurring in or shared by (some members of a group or community).
There was a feeling of discontent amongst the employees.


Indicating a division, choice, or differentiation involving three or more.
The prize money was distributed among the finalists.


In the midst of; surrounded by
A pine tree among cedars.


In the midst of; surrounded by
A pine tree among cedars.


In the group, number, or class of
She is among the wealthy.


In the group, number, or class of
She is among the wealthy.


In the company of; in association with
Traveling among a group of tourists.


By many or the entire number of; with many
A custom popular among the Greeks.


By the joint action of
Among us, we will finish the job.


With portions to each of
Distribute this among you.


With or against one another
Don't fight among yourselves. See Usage Note at between.


Denotes a mingling or intermixing with distinct or separable objects. See usage note at amidst.
Janek feels very at ease amongst his friends, but gets incredibly nervous when meeting new people.


Does amongst sound outdated?

In some contexts, especially in American English.

Is amongst used in American English?

Rarely, as among is more common.

Is amongst more poetic?

Sometimes, particularly in traditional poetry.

Are amongst and among always interchangeable?

Generally, yes, but amongst may sound more formal or old-fashioned.

Can amongst be used in legal documents?

Yes, but among is more typical.

Can amongst be used in scientific writing?

Yes, though among is more typical.

Do young people use amongst?

Less frequently; among is more common in contemporary usage.

Is among considered informal?

Not necessarily; it's standard in both casual and formal contexts.

Can amongst or among start a sentence?

Yes, although it's more common in the middle or end of a sentence.

Are amongst and among used differently in different English dialects?

Yes, with amongst being more common in some British dialects.

Does amongst imply a deeper connection than among?

No, the implication is the same.

Is amongst more common in British literature?

Historically, yes, but among is now prevalent.

Are there any grammatical differences between amongst and among?

No, they function the same grammatically.

Can either word be used in academic writing?

Yes, but among is typically preferred for its modernity.

Does amongst have a different connotation in poetry?

It can add a traditional or formal tone.

Is among more common in spoken English?

Yes, especially in American English.

Are there cases where amongst cannot replace among?

Not usually, but stylistically, among is often preferred.

Is amongst used in modern British English?

Less so; among is becoming more common.

Do usage rules for amongst and among differ?

No, the rules are the same.

Does the choice between amongst and among affect clarity?

No, the meaning remains clear with either choice.
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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