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Delivered vs. Sent: What's the Difference?

By Janet White || Updated on November 14, 2023
"Sent" refers to the act of dispatching an item or message, while "delivered" means the item or message has successfully reached its destination.

Key Differences

"Delivered" implies successful arrival at a destination or receipt by the intended recipient, while "sent" simply means the act of dispatching or transmitting something, with no implication of its receipt.
In the context of mail or packages, "delivered" means the item has reached its final destination, whereas "sent" indicates the item has been dispatched but not necessarily received.
"Delivered" often carries the connotation of completion, such as fulfilling a promise or obligation, whereas "sent" suggests the initiation of a process, like sending a letter or email.
In digital communications, "delivered" is used when a message has reached the recipient's device, while "sent" means the message has been transmitted from the sender's device.
"Delivered" can also imply conveying a message or speech effectively, while "sent" can refer to the broader act of causing something to go or be taken to a place.

Comparison Chart


Successful arrival or completion
Dispatch or transmission

Context (Mail or Packages)

Reached the final destination
Dispatched but not necessarily received


Completion or fulfillment
Initiation or starting of a process

Digital Communications

Message reached recipient's device
Message transmitted from sender's device

Broader Use

Effectively conveyed message or speech
Causing something to go or be taken

Delivered and Sent Definitions


Gave birth to a baby.
She delivered a healthy baby girl last night.


Caused to be taken or conveyed to a place.
She sent a letter to her friend overseas.


Successfully brought to a destination.
The package was delivered to her doorstep.


Caused to move or shift from one place to another.
The wind sent the leaves swirling through the air.


Fulfilled or carried out a promise or task.
He delivered on his promise to complete the project.


Transmitted a message or email.
He sent an urgent email to his team.


Presented a speech or lecture effectively.
The keynote speaker delivered an inspiring address.


Ordered or instructed someone to go somewhere.
The manager sent the employee on a business trip.


Provided or supplied a service or good.
The restaurant delivered meals to our office.


Dismissed or let someone leave.
The teacher sent the students home early.


To bring or transport to the proper place or recipient; distribute
Deliver groceries.
Deliver the mail.


Past tense and past participle of send1.


To surrender (someone or something) to another; hand over
Delivered the criminal to the police.


Simple past tense and past participle of send


To secure (something promised or desired), as for a candidate or political party
Campaign workers who delivered the ward for the mayor.


A subdivision of currency, equal to one hundredth of an Estonian kroon.


To throw or hurl
The pitcher delivered the ball.


Obsolete form of scent


To strike (a blow).


100 senti equal 1 kroon


To express in words; declare or utter
Deliver a lecture.


Caused or enabled to go or be conveyed or transmitted


To give birth to
She delivered a baby boy this morning.


To assist or aid in the birth of
The midwife delivered the baby.


To assist (a woman) in giving birth
The doctor delivered her of twins.


To give forth or produce
An oil well that delivered thousands of barrels a day.


To set free, as from captivity, peril, or evil
Deliver a captive from slavery.


Simple past tense and past participle of deliver


(in combination) That has been, or will be, delivered in a specific manner.
Delivered duty paid;
Delivered ex ship


Does "sent" apply to digital communications?

Yes, it's commonly used for emails, texts, and online messages.

Does "delivered" mean the recipient has the item?

Yes, it implies the recipient has received the item.

Can "sent" indicate an item is still in transit?

Yes, "sent" means it's on its way but not necessarily arrived yet.

Is "delivered" used in legal contexts?

Yes, particularly regarding the fulfillment of contracts or obligations.

Can "delivered" mean providing a service?

Yes, like a company delivering goods or services.

Can "delivered" refer to performances?

Yes, like delivering a speech or presentation effectively.

Does "delivered" imply responsibility?

Often, as it suggests completing a task or obligation.

Is "delivered" used in medical contexts?

Yes, particularly in the context of childbirth.

Can "sent" mean someone was caused to go somewhere?

Yes, like being sent on an errand or mission.

Can "delivered" be used metaphorically?

Yes, like delivering a point in a debate.

Does "sent" imply successful receipt?

Not necessarily; it means dispatched but not always received.

Can "delivered" refer to outcomes?

Yes, like delivering results or outcomes of a project.

Is "sent" a term used in sports?

It can be, like sending a ball to a teammate.

Does "sent" apply to feelings or thoughts?

It can, like sending good wishes or thoughts.

Can "sent" refer to historical dispatches?

Yes, like sending a telegram or a carrier pigeon.

Does "sent" imply a starting point?

Yes, it indicates the origin or commencement of a transmission or journey.

Is "sent" used for both physical and electronic items?

Yes, it applies to both tangible items and digital messages.

Is "delivered" used in culinary contexts?

Yes, like food being delivered to a customer.

Does "delivered" apply to digital content?

It can, like a digital product being successfully received.

Is "sent" used in military contexts?

Yes, like being sent on a mission or deployment.
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.

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