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Interconnected vs. Connected: What's the Difference?

By Harlon Moss || Updated on May 22, 2024
Interconnected implies a mutual or complex link between multiple parts or systems, while connected refers to a simple link or relationship between two or more elements.

Key Differences

Interconnected describes a state where multiple elements are linked in a complex, interdependent way. For instance, ecosystems are interconnected because the survival of one species can depend on another. Connected, on the other hand, simply means that elements are joined or linked, without the implication of complexity or mutual dependency, such as two computers connected by a cable.
Interconnected often suggests a network where each part influences and is influenced by others, highlighting a web of relationships. Connected might describe straightforward links, such as roads connected by a bridge, emphasizing the direct relationship without additional complexity.
Interconnected systems often involve feedback loops and mutual dependencies, making them more intricate, like the global economy. Connected systems, like a phone to a charger, have a more direct and less intricate relationship.
In technology, interconnected networks might refer to multiple devices or systems working together seamlessly, such as the Internet of Things (IoT). Connected devices might simply share a common network, such as computers on a local network.
Interconnected can imply a greater degree of integration and interaction among elements, while connected focuses on the presence of a link without necessarily suggesting integration.

Comparison Chart


High, complex relationships
Low to moderate, simple links

Mutual Dependence

Yes, often interdependent
Not necessarily

Example (Ecosystems)

"Ecosystems are interconnected."
"Two habitats are connected."

Example (Technology)

"IoT devices are interconnected."
"The printer is connected to the computer."

Integration Level

High, integrated systems
Basic link or relationship

Interconnected and Connected Definitions


Linked in a complex, mutual way.
The global economy is interconnected.


Having a relationship or association.
The phone is connected to the charger.


Forming a network of relationships.
The Internet of Things consists of interconnected devices.


Established communication or relationship.
They are connected via social media.


Integrated and interactive.
The city's transportation systems are interconnected.


Simple link without implying complexity.
Her computer is connected to the internet.


To connect reciprocally
Tried to interconnect the two theories.


Joined or fastened together.


Multiple elements influencing each other.
Their research showed how different ecosystems are interconnected.


Not decomposable into two disjoint nonempty open sets.


To be connected with each other
The two buildings interconnect.


Having a continuous path between any two points. Used of a curve, set, or surface.


Intertwined; connected at multiple points or levels


Related by family.


Simple past tense and past participle of interconnect


Logically or intelligibly ordered or presented; coherent
A stroke that left him incapable of connected speech.


Having internal connections between parts.


Associated with or related to others, especially to influential or important people
A photographer who was well connected in the fashion world.


Operating as a unit.


(usually with "well-"): Having favorable rapport with a powerful entity.


Reciprocally connected


Having relationships; involved with others.


Operating as a unit;
A unified utility system
A coordinated program


(North America) Involved with organized crime, specifically someone not (yet) working for a crime organization, but referred to as a "friend" by made guys/wise guys inside the organization.


Mutually dependent systems.
Various departments in the company are interconnected.


Intimate; Having bonds of affection.


That cannot be partitioned into two nonempty open sets.


Having a path, either directed or undirected, connecting every pair of vertices.
In a connected graph, there is no section (proper subset that includes all edges from each vertex in said subset) of the graph that is isolated from the rest.


Having or supporting connections, especially when through technology such as networking software or a transportation network.


Simple past tense and past participle of connect


Being joined in close association.


Connected by a conductor so as to allow the flow of electric signals.




Associated with or accompanying.


Stored in, controlled by, or in direct communication with a central computer.


Switched on.


Having some relation.


Being joined in close association;
Affiliated clubs
All art schools whether independent or attached to universities


Joined or linked together


Related to or accompanying;
Christmas and associated festivities


Wired together to an alarm system;
All the window alarms are connected


Plugged in;
First check to see whether the appliance is connected


Stored in, controlled by, or in direct communication with a central computer


Joined or linked.
The two cities are connected by a highway.


Linked in a straightforward way.
These devices are connected to the same network.


Does interconnected imply mutual dependency?

Yes, interconnected often implies mutual influence or dependency among elements.

Can connected describe a simple relationship?

Yes, connected describes a straightforward, direct link between elements.

What is the main difference between interconnected and connected?

Interconnected implies a complex, mutual relationship, while connected refers to a simple link or association.

Is interconnected used more in specific contexts?

Yes, interconnected is often used in contexts involving systems, networks, and complex relationships, such as ecosystems or technology.

Can something be connected without being interconnected?

Yes, connected implies a direct link, while interconnected suggests a more complex, interdependent relationship.

Can interconnected describe social systems?

Yes, interconnected can describe complex social networks where individuals or groups influence each other.

Is connected used in everyday language?

Yes, connected is commonly used in everyday contexts to describe simple links or relationships.

Does connected have a broader usage than interconnected?

Yes, connected has a broader, more general usage in describing simple links in various contexts.

Can something be both connected and interconnected?

Yes, something can be both, depending on the context and nature of the relationships involved.

Is interconnected more common in scientific literature?

Yes, interconnected is frequently used in scientific and technical contexts to describe complex systems.

Is connected used in social media contexts?

Yes, connected is commonly used to describe links or relationships between users on social media platforms.

Is interconnected used in technology?

Yes, it often describes systems where multiple devices or components work together, like IoT.

Does connected imply a complex system?

No, connected does not necessarily imply complexity; it can describe a simple link.

Can interconnected be used to describe organizational structures?

Yes, interconnected can describe complex relationships and dependencies within an organization.

Can interconnected describe environmental relationships?

Yes, interconnected is often used to describe the complex relationships within ecosystems.

Can connected describe physical links?

Yes, connected can describe physical links, such as roads, cables, or devices.

Is interconnected used in economic contexts?

Yes, interconnected is often used to describe the complex, mutual dependencies in global economies.

Does interconnected imply a higher degree of integration?

Yes, interconnected implies a higher degree of integration and mutual influence.

Does connected suggest permanence?

Not necessarily; connected describes a link, which can be temporary or permanent.

Does connected imply any interaction?

Not necessarily; connected means linked, but interaction is not always implied.
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.

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