Difference Wiki

Exclude vs. Include: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Updated on October 5, 2023
Exclude means to deliberately omit or leave out, while Include refers to adding or encompassing something as a part.

Key Differences

The terms "Exclude" and "Include" represent two opposites in terms of involving elements or entities in a particular context or set. To exclude denotes intentionally leaving out or not allowing someone or something to be involved or considered. In contrast, to include means ensuring that someone or something is part of or involved in something, such as a group or an activity.
When you "Exclude" something or someone, you make a conscious choice to leave them out of a particular scenario or situation. In contrast, when you "Include" something or someone, you are ensuring that they are a part of a particular scenario or collection. Both actions are intentional but sit on opposite sides of the inclusion spectrum.
In various contexts, "Exclude" could symbolize rejection or omission, presenting a negative connotation since it represents the act of leaving something or someone out intentionally. On the contrary, "Include" is generally perceived positively as it signifies acceptance, embracing something or someone as a part of a whole or group.
The notion of "Exclude" primarily conveys a deliberate act of omitting or leaving out, which can be applied in various contexts, whether in social scenarios, data handling, or any other relevant situation. Meanwhile, to "Include" refers to taking active measures to involve, insert, or consider something as part of a larger whole or during a situation.
Often, to "Exclude" is to create a boundary that deliberately leaves certain elements or individuals outside of it. On the flip side, to "Include" is to eliminate such boundaries, ensuring that elements or individuals are accepted and considered part of a particular set or situation.

Comparison Chart


To deliberately leave out
To add or encompass as a part


Generally negative
Generally positive



Example Usage

Exclude from a group
Include in a group


May require a reason
May not require a reason

Exclude and Include Definitions


Exclude means to deny access or entry.
Minors are excluded from the bar.


Include means to add as part.
Please include your name in the application.


Exclude involves not allowing participation.
The coach decided to exclude him from the team.


Include entails considering in the computation.
Don’t forget to include the bonuses in the total.


Exclude refers to deliberately omit.
We had to exclude some data from the analysis.


To contain or take in as a part, element, or member.


Exclude signifies leaving out a portion.
Exclude the outliers from the dataset.


To consider as part of or allow into a group or class
Thanked the host for including us.


Exclude represents rejecting or not considering.
She chose to exclude her early works from the exhibition.


To bring into a group, class, set, or total as a (new) part or member.
I will purchase the vacation package if you will include car rental.


To prevent from entering; keep out; bar
A jar sealed to exclude outside air.
An immigration policy that excludes undesirables.


To consider as part of something; to comprehend.
The vacation package includes car rental.
Does this volume of Shakespeare include his sonnets?
I was included in the invitation to the family gathering.
Up to and including page twenty-five


To prevent from being included, considered, or accepted; reject
The court excluded the improperly obtained evidence.


(obsolete) To enclose, confine.


To put out; expel.


(obsolete) To conclude; to terminate.


(transitive) To bar (someone or something) from entering; to keep out.


(programming) To use a directive that allows the use of source code from another file.
You have to include the strings library to use this function.


(transitive) To expel; to put out.
To exclude young animals from the womb or from eggs


(programming) A piece of source code or other content that is dynamically retrieved for inclusion in another item.


(transitive) To omit from consideration.
Count from 1 to 30, but exclude the prime numbers.


To confine within; to hold; to contain; to shut up; to inclose; as, the shell of a nut includes the kernel; a pearl is included in a shell.


To refuse to accept (evidence) as valid.


To comprehend or comprise, as a genus the species, the whole a part, an argument or reason the inference; to contain; to embrace; as, this volume of Shakespeare includes his sonnets; he was included in the invitation to the family; to and including page twenty-five.
The whole included race, his purposed prey.
The loss of such a lord includes all harm.


To eliminate from diagnostic consideration.


To conclude; to end; to terminate.
Come, let us go; we will include all jarsWith triumphs, mirth, and rare solemnity.


To shut out; to hinder from entrance or admission; to debar from participation or enjoyment; to deprive of; to except; - the opposite to admit; as, to exclude a crowd from a room or house; to exclude the light; to exclude one nation from the ports of another; to exclude a taxpayer from the privilege of voting.
And none but such, from mercy I exclude.


Have as a part, be made up out of;
The list includes the names of many famous writers


To thrust out or eject; to expel; as, to exclude young animals from the womb or from eggs.


Consider as part of something;
I include you in the list of culprits


Prevent from being included or considered or accepted;
The bad results were excluded from the report
Leave off the top piece


Add as part of something else; put in as part of a set, group, or category;
We must include this chemical element in the group


Prevent from entering; shut out;
The trees were shutting out all sunlight
This policy excludes people who have a criminal record from entering the country


Allow participation in or the right to be part of; permit to exercise the rights, functions, and responsibilities of;
Admit someone to the profession
She was admitted to the New Jersey Bar


Lack or fail to include;
The cost for the trip excludes food and beverages


Include refers to allowing participation.
Everyone is included in the celebration.


Prevent from entering; keep out;
He was barred from membership in the club


Include denotes being composed of or containing.
The price includes taxes.


Put out or expel from a place;
The child was expelled from the classroom


Include signifies involving in a group or structure.
The tour includes a visit to the museum.


Is "Include" the opposite of "Exclude"?

Yes, "Include" generally means to make someone or something a part of, which is the opposite of "Exclude."

Does "Include" always suggest a welcoming act?

Typically, yes. "Include" usually conveys an act of acceptance or involvement.

Can "Exclude" imply a negative action?

Yes, "Exclude" can be perceived as negative since it involves intentionally leaving something or someone out.

Can "Exclude" be used in various contexts?

Yes, "Exclude" can be used in diverse contexts like social, academic, technical, etc.

Is "Include" related only to social contexts?

No, "Include" can also be used in various contexts, like programming, cooking, or data analysis.

Does "Exclude" always indicate a permanent condition?

No, something excluded in one instance might be included in another.

Does "Exclude" always require justification?

Not always, though excluding often might need explanation, depending on the context.

Is "Include" utilized in computational processes?

Absolutely, "Include" is often used in coding, calculations, and algorithms.

Can "Exclude" refer to physical space?

Yes, like excluding items from a room.

Can "Include" be used in the context of addition?

Yes, "Include" may refer to adding something to a list, group, or set.

What does "Exclude" generally mean?

"Exclude" means to deliberately leave out or not include someone or something.

Can "Exclude" be used in data filtering?

Yes, data points might be excluded to refine results.

Can "Include" mean considering in discussions?

Yes, one might include a point in a discussion or argument.

Can "Include" refer to temporary involvement?

Yes, something may be included for a specific time or purpose and excluded later.

Can "Exclude" mean omitting an item in a list?

Yes, excluding can mean leaving an item off a list or set.

Does "Include" refer to the incorporation of elements?

Yes, "Include" can mean incorporating elements, like ingredients in a recipe.

Can "Include" imply an encompassing act?

Yes, "Include" may imply that what is being referred to encompasses or involves other elements.

Can "Exclude" mean denying entry?

Yes, "Exclude" might mean preventing someone from entering a place.

Does "Include" involve consideration in decision-making?

Yes, to include can mean considering factors or opinions in decisions.

Can "Exclude" refer to social isolation?

Yes, "Exclude" can imply intentionally isolating or leaving someone out socially.
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.
Edited 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.

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