Difference Between Graveyard and Cemetery


Main Difference

The main difference between Graveyard and Cemetery is that a graveyard is a typically smaller burial ground; it is part of the churchyard. Whereas a cemetery refers to a large burial ground, not associated with a church.

Graveyard vs. Cemetery

The graveyard is slightly more archaic. It is the term to use to mention the area or zone where persons buried. It habitually connected with the church. While the term cemetery is the recent tradition or usage. It also raises an appearance with nice, straight-rows of grave-sites. When a site of burial related or joined to a church, the place or location is known as a graveyard, and a cemetery is a distinct setup. A graveyard is messy, whereas a cemetery is generally well-maintained.


The usual explanation associated with a graveyard is that it usually adorned by dead trees and is absent of landscaped grass. By contrast, cemeteries usually pictured as the more beautiful place to bury the dead. It’s like a tranquil and serene environment that, more often than not, is landscaped well with green grass and colorful flowers.

There are many graveyards today that bury the dead in a seemingly disorganized arrangement giving the usual impression of a cramped up burial spot. While the cemeteries have a sense of symmetry, and the tombstones are well marked and usually arranged in rows or columns.

There’s poor upkeep at the graveyard; in many situations, even there’s hardly anyone eager to clean the graveyard. It will not be unexpected to see that the gravestones look dirty, decayed, and somewhat faded at the graveyard. But the cemetery is usually maintained well by a maintenance crew.


Comparison Chart

It is a burial ground which connected with the church.It is a burial ground which far from the church.
Look messyWell-maintained
Absent of grassLots of grass and flower
Arrangement of Graves
Arranged disorderlyArranged orderly in columns or rows
Poor upkeepWell maintained
Preference By People
People did not prefer to buriedPeople prefer to buried

What is Graveyard?

A graveyard is a place where people buried after they die. Graveyards are affiliated with a church and typically situated on church grounds. They incline to be smaller due to land boundaries, and thus, are often choosier — only associates or members of their religion and sometimes only members of that specific church buried in a graveyard. The etymology behind the word graveyard is somewhat straightforward. It is, after all, a yard or patch occupied with tombs or graves.


The derivation of the graveyard is relatively obvious or clear; it is a field full of burial chambers or graves. Though it may be amazed to hear that the word “grave” originates from Proto-Germanic *Graban, significance “to dig,” and is associated with “groove” however not to “gravel.”

What is Cemetery?

A cemetery is a place where people buried. They are not associated with a church, so they are often larger as they’re able to spread out beyond land adjacent to a church. Both religious people and nonbelievers buried there. In the cemetery, reflecting layout or geography, social attitudes, religious beliefs, sanitary and aesthetic considerations, or thoughts, cemeteries might be elaborate or simply constructed with splendor or grandeur that over glosses or shines the communal of the living.

In European society, the formal funeral procedure every so often perceived in cemeteries. These rites or ceremonies of passage be different, rendering to cultural performs and religious backgrounds or beliefs. Present cemeteries frequently contain crematories, and some surroundings formerly utilized for both endure as crematoria as a main use much later the burial zones have been occupied.


The name cemetery did not occur when burial ground happening to eruption at the seams. It originates from Old French cimetiere, which intended well graveyard. However, the French term initially derives from Greek koimeterion, significance “a sleeping place.”

Key Differences

  1. The graveyard is a tract of land in which the dead buried may be found within the bounds of a church, and a cemetery is a burial place for the dead that usually located far from the church.
  2. As compared to the graveyard, there’s better maintenance and upkeep at the cemetery.
  3. The graveyard is a fewer orderly or arranged place for final rest, whereas the cemetery is the tranquil, more spacious, organized, and organized place for final rest.
  4. A graveyard is that it usually adorned by dead trees and is absent of landscaped grass, and the cemetery is like a landscape well with green grass and colorful flowers.
  5. More people did not prefer to be buried in the graveyard rather than in the cemetery.


Though, if you’ve perceived, most morticians speak of cemeteries only and not graveyards. There must be a cause for this. It is because a graveyard and a cemetery are two different burial places for the dead (humans). We have to say that a graveyard is a kind of cemetery; nevertheless, a cemetery is generally not a graveyard.

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