Combine vs. Blend: What's the Difference?
"Combine" means to join or merge two distinct entities, maintaining their individuality, while "blend" implies mixing entities so thoroughly they become indistinguishable.
"Combine" suggests the action of bringing together separate elements, entities, or substances, usually maintaining their individual characteristics within the unit. On the other hand, "blend" denotes the process of mixing various elements together into a homogeneous substance, often to the point where the separate elements are no longer individually discernible. Both terms involve the idea of merging, but combine preserves individuality, whereas blend seeks homogeneity.
In culinary contexts, for example, chefs might "combine" ingredients into a salad, meaning each ingredient retains its original form and is distinguishable. Conversely, chefs "blend" ingredients to create a smoothie, resulting in a uniform liquid where the original components are not visually identifiable. Both actions are forms of mixing, but combine allows for identification of original components, while blend creates a new, unified product.
In agricultural terms, "combine" is used as a noun to denote a complex machine that harvests grain crops by combining three separate operations. "Blend" does not have a similar specific agricultural meaning but in general use would imply the thorough mixing of different substances or varieties, perhaps seeds or fertilizers, to create a uniform result. While combine in this context is about the functionality of a machine, blend pertains to the outcome of thorough mixing.
In the corporate world, companies might "combine" in a merger or joint venture, meaning they come together to work toward common goals but often retain their individual brands or identities. However, when companies "blend," it usually refers to the merging of cultures, operations, or brands to the point where the original entities cease to exist separately. Combine, in this sense, maintains distinct identities, while blend fuses them into a new singular identity.
In artistic endeavors like music, musicians may "combine" different instruments in an ensemble, meaning each instrument contributes its unique sound to the performance. In contrast, musicians "blend" their voices or sounds to achieve a harmonious or homogeneous effect, losing the distinctness of individual contributions. Combine showcases individual elements, while blend harmonizes into a cohesive whole.
Parts of speech
Used as a verb and noun
Primarily used as a verb and noun
Subject or object in a sentence
Typically functions as a verb or a noun in a sentence
Combines, Combining, Combined
Blends, Blending, Blended
Combine can be part of compound nouns, e.g., combine harvester
Blend is used to form compound words, e.g., blend-in
Combine and Blend Definitions
To join or merge to form a single entity.
We decided to combine our resources for the project.
To combine elements in a way that enhances or complements them.
The artist blends realism and surrealism in his paintings.
To add together from different sources.
She combines the ingredients in the bowl.
A mixture of different things or qualities.
The drink is a unique blend of various herbs and spices.
To exhibit simultaneously.
He combines charm with a strong business acumen.
To balance harmoniously.
The interior designer blends comfort and style in her creations.
To bring into a state of unity; make united
Combined the ingredients in a bowl.
Combined the eggs and flour.
To combine or mix (different substances) so that the constituent parts are indistinguishable from one another
Blended the flour, milk, and eggs.
Blend gasoline with ethanol.
To join (two or more substances) to make a single substance, such as a chemical compound; mix.
To combine (varieties or grades of the same substance) to obtain a mixture of a particular character, quality, or consistency
To have, exhibit, or involve in combination
The choreography combines artistry and athletics.
To combine (different elements) into a single entity
A career that blends medicine and engineering.
(kŏmbīn′) To harvest (a grain crop) using a cutting, threshing, and cleaning machine.
To form a uniform mixture
“The smoke blended easily into the odor of the other fumes” (Norman Mailer).
To become united
Factors that combined to produce a storm.
To be unobtrusive or harmonious by resembling the surroundings or behaving like others in a group. Often used with in
A female pheasant is brown and blends in with its nesting ground.
To join together for a common purpose.
To create a harmonious effect or result
Picked a tie that blended with the jacket.
(Chemistry) To form a compound.
The act of blending
The writer's unique blend of fantasy and physics.
(kŏmbīn′) To harvest a grain crop using a cutting, threshing, and cleaning machine.
Something, such as an effect or a product, that is created by blending
“His face shows, as he stares at the fire, a blend of fastidiousness and intransigence” (John Fowles).
A power-operated harvesting machine that cuts, threshes, and cleans grain.
(Linguistics) A word produced by combining parts of other words, as smog from smoke and fog.
An association of people or groups united for the furtherance of political or commercial interests.
A mixture of two or more things.
Their music has been described as a blend of jazz and heavy metal.
Our department has a good blend of experienced workers and young promise.
(linguistics) A word formed by combining two other words; a grammatical contamination, portmanteau word.
(transitive) To bring (two or more things or activities) together; to unite.
Combine the milk and the hot water in a large bowl.
I'm combining business and pleasure on this trip.
(transitive) To mingle; to mix; to unite intimately; to pass or shade insensibly into each other.
To make hummus you need to blend chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic.
(transitive) To have two or more things or properties that function together.
Joe combines the intelligence of a rock with the honesty of a politician.
(intransitive) To be mingled or mixed.
(intransitive) To come together; to unite.
Two substances that easily combine
(obsolete) To pollute by mixture or association; to spoil or corrupt; to blot; to stain.
(card games) In the game of casino, to play a card which will take two or more cards whose aggregate number of pips equals those of the card played.
To mix or mingle together; esp. to mingle, combine, or associate so that the separate things mixed, or the line of demarcation, can not be distinguished. Hence: To confuse; to confound.
Blending the grand, the beautiful, the gay.
(obsolete) To bind; to hold by a moral tie.
To pollute by mixture or association; to spoil or corrupt; to blot; to stain.
A combine harvester
We can't finish harvesting because our combine is stuck in the mud.
To mingle; to mix; to unite intimately; to pass or shade insensibly into each other, as colors.
There is a tone of solemn and sacred feeling that blends with our conviviality.
To make blind, literally or figuratively; to dazzle; to deceive.
Especially, a joint enterprise of whatever legal form for a purpose of business or in any way promoting the interests of the participants, sometimes with monopolistic or fraudulent intentions.
The telecom companies were accused of having formed an illegal combine in order to hike up the network charges.
A thorough mixture of one thing with another, as color, tint, etc., into another, so that it cannot be known where one ends or the other begins.
An industrial conglomeration in a socialist country, particularly in the former Soviet bloc.
An occurrence of thorough mixing
(art) An artwork falling between painting and sculpture, having objects embedded into a painted surface.
A new word formed by joining two others and combining their meanings;
`smog' is a blend of `smoke' and `fog'
`motel' is a portmanteau word made by combining `motor' and `hotel'
`brunch' is a well-known portmanteau
(American football) A Test match in which applicants play in the hope of earning a position on a professional football team.
The act of blending components together thoroughly
To unite or join; to link closely together; to bring into harmonious union; to cause or unite so as to form a homogeneous substance, as by chemical union.
So fitly them in pairs thou hast combined.
Friendship is the cement which really combines mankind.
And all combined, save what thou must combineBy holy marriage.
Earthly sounds, though sweet and well combined.
Combine into one;
Blend the nuts and raisins together
He blends in with the crowd
We don't intermingle much
To bind; to hold by a moral tie.
I am combined by a sacred vow.
Blend or harmonize;
This flavor will blend with those in your dish
This sofa won't go with the chairs
To form a union; to agree; to coalesce; to confederate.
You with your foes combine,And seem your own destruction to design
So sweet did harp and voice combine.
Mix together different elements;
The colors blend well
To unite by affinity or natural attraction; as, two substances, which will not combine of themselves, may be made to combine by the intervention of a third.
To mix together thoroughly to a uniform consistency.
She blends the fruits to make her morning smoothie.
In the game of casino, to play a card which will take two or more cards whose aggregate number of pips equals those of the card played.
To merge seamlessly and harmoniously.
The new building blends with the historic architecture of the neighborhood.
Harvester that heads and threshes and cleans grain while moving across the field
A consortium of independent organizations formed to limit competition by controlling the production and distribution of a product or service;
They set up the trust in the hope of gaining a monopoly
An occurrence that results in things being united
Put or add together;
Have or possess in combination;
She unites charm with a good business sense
Combine so as to form a whole; mix;
Compound the ingredients
Add together from different sources;
Join for a common purpose or in a common action;
These forces combined with others
Gather in a mass, sum, or whole
Mix together different elements;
The colors blend well
To unite for a common purpose.
The two firms will combine to deliver a powerful new ecosystem.
A harvesting machine that heads, threshes, and cleans grain.
The farmer uses a combine during the harvest season.
Is a "blend" always smooth?
In many contexts, a "blend" implies smoothness or homogeneity, but not always.
Are "combine" and "blend" synonyms?
They're similar but not perfect synonyms; "combine" suggests joining while maintaining distinctness, "blend" implies a thorough mixing.
Can you "combine" ideas?
Yes, ideas can be "combined" to create a new concept or project.
Does "blend" apply to music?
Yes, in music, "blend" often refers to a harmonious combination of sounds.
Can "combine" refer to a machine?
Yes, in agriculture, a "combine" is a machine that harvests grain crops.
Does "blend" mean the original elements disappear?
Not disappear, but they merge to the point where they're not individually distinguishable.
Is "combine" a recent term?
No, "combine" has been used for centuries, derived from Late Latin "combinare."
Can companies "combine" without merging completely?
Yes, companies can "combine" efforts or resources without fully merging.
Can you "combine" resources?
Absolutely, resources can be "combined" for efficiency or enhanced capability.
Does "combine" imply equality?
Not necessarily; elements can "combine" in various proportions or importance.
Is "combine" used in cooking?
Yes, to "combine" ingredients means to mix them without necessarily homogenizing them.
Is "blend" a term in coffee making?
Yes, a "blend" refers to a mixture of different types of coffee beans.
Can fabrics "blend"?
Yes, fabrics can "blend" when fibers are mixed to create a new textile.
Does a "blend" lose individual characteristics?
Often, the individual components are less distinguishable in a "blend."
Can "blend" refer to art styles?
Yes, artists can "blend" different styles or techniques in their work.
Can "combine" relate to business strategies?
Yes, businesses often "combine" strategies to leverage various strengths.
Can flavors "blend"?
Absolutely, flavors "blend" to create a new taste profile.
Can "combine" mean to collaborate?
Yes, it can mean to come together for a common goal or project.
Does "combine" involve physical objects only?
No, "combine" can also involve abstract entities like ideas or plans.
Does "blend" have a negative connotation?
Not generally; "blend" usually has a neutral or positive connotation depending on the context.
Written bySawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited byHuma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.