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Hobby vs. Interest: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 9, 2023
A hobby is a regular activity pursued for pleasure; interest is a feeling of curiosity or engagement in a topic or subject.

Key Differences

A hobby is a specific activity that an individual partakes in for relaxation or pleasure during their leisure time. An interest, on the other hand, is more about an inclination or curiosity in a particular subject or topic.
While someone might have an interest in ancient history, reading about it occasionally, they might take up coin collecting from ancient civilizations as a hobby, dedicating time and resources.
It's possible for an interest to develop into a hobby. For instance, someone might have an interest in photography upon seeing beautiful photos, and later buy a camera and make photography their hobby.
Not every interest evolves into a hobby. One might have an interest in marine life but might not necessarily take up scuba diving or marine biology as a hobby.
Hobbies typically involve a more active participation and often a skill or craft, whereas interests can be passive and don't always lead to active engagement.

Comparison Chart


Active involvement
Passive inclination or curiosity


Regular participation
Can be occasional or fleeting


Can develop from an interest
Can lead to a hobby

Skill or Craft

Often involves skill or craft development
Doesn't necessarily involve skill development

Resources and Time

May require specific resources and time
Often requires minimal resources

Hobby and Interest Definitions


An avocation that provides personal fulfillment and pleasure.
My grandfather's hobby of bird-watching led him to travel the world.


An activity or subject that one enjoys doing or studying.
Music and dance are among her interests.


A pursuit outside one's regular occupation, engaged in for relaxation.
After work, he indulges in his hobby of fishing.


The attention or engagement one has in a specific subject or matter.
The lecture captured the interest of all attendees.


A pastime that individuals immerse themselves in, often leading to skill development.
Her hobby of playing the violin has seen her perform on many stages.


A feeling of curiosity or concern about a particular topic.
She showed a keen interest in the arts.


A regular activity done for enjoyment during leisure time.
Painting has always been her favorite hobby.


The state of wanting to know or learn about something or someone.
His sudden interest in health foods surprised us.


An activity or interest pursued with passion and dedication.
She transformed her childhood hobby of baking into a business.


A preference or inclination towards a particular area or topic.
Her interests lie in the fields of anthropology and sociology.


Can someone have multiple hobbies?

Absolutely, individuals can have multiple hobbies they engage in.

Do all interests become hobbies?

No, not all interests necessarily evolve into hobbies.

Can interests become hobbies?

Yes, interests can evolve into hobbies with active participation and dedication.

Can an interest be fleeting?

Yes, interests can be temporary or change over time.

What is a hobby?

A hobby is a regular activity done for enjoyment during one's leisure time.

Is every hobby linked to an interest?

Most hobbies stem from an initial interest, but not every interest leads to a hobby.

Are hobbies essential for mental well-being?

While not essential, hobbies can greatly contribute to mental well-being by offering relaxation and fulfillment.

How do hobbies differ from passions?

While hobbies are activities for leisure and relaxation, passions are pursuits that one feels strongly about, often influencing life choices.

Can you have an interest in something without actively pursuing it?

Absolutely, one can have an interest in a topic without actively engaging in it.

Can a person lose interest in a hobby?

Yes, over time, preferences change, and one might lose interest in a previously loved hobby.

What's the best way to explore new interests?

Keeping an open mind, reading, traveling, and interacting with diverse groups can help in discovering new interests.

Do hobbies and interests change with age?

They can; as individuals grow and evolve, their hobbies and interests might shift.

Can shared hobbies strengthen relationships?

Shared hobbies can offer common ground, strengthening bonds between individuals.

Is there a link between interests and career choices?

Often, individuals might choose careers based on their interests, though it's not always the case.

How does an interest differ from a hobby?

Interest is a feeling of curiosity in a subject, while a hobby is an active pursuit of that subject for pleasure.

Does pursuing a hobby always require resources?

While many hobbies might require specific tools or resources, some can be pursued with minimal means.

How can one discover new hobbies?

Exploring various interests and trying new activities can lead to discovering new hobbies.

Can one make a career out of a hobby?

Yes, many individuals transform their hobbies into careers with dedication and skill development.

Is it beneficial to have both hobbies and interests?

Yes, having both offers a balance of active engagement and passive learning or appreciation.

Is it okay to have neither hobbies nor strong interests?

Everyone is different. While having hobbies or interests can be fulfilling, it's okay if someone doesn't have specific ones.
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
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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