Difference Wiki

Meeting vs. Appointment: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Published on January 12, 2024
Meeting is a gathering of people for discussion or decision-making. Appointment is a prearranged time for a one-on-one or small group interaction, often formal.

Key Differences

A meeting typically involves multiple people gathered for discussion, decision-making, or information sharing. An appointment, in contrast, is a prearranged time set for a one-on-one or small group interaction, usually specific and formal.
Meetings are often used in business, organizations, and social contexts to collaborate or make collective decisions. Appointments are more individualized, focusing on personal, medical, or professional interactions between a few individuals.
The purpose of a meeting is usually collaboration, brainstorming, or problem-solving in a group setting. Appointments, however, are often for specific purposes like consultations, interviews, or services.
Meetings can be informal or formal, ranging from casual team gatherings to structured corporate settings. Appointments are typically more formal and structured, with a clear objective and often a set end time.
In a meeting, the interaction is between several participants with potential for open discussion. In an appointment, the interaction is usually between two parties or a small group, with a more focused and direct conversation.

Comparison Chart


Multiple, often larger groups
One-on-one or small groups


Business, social, or organizational
Personal, medical, or professional


Collaboration, decision-making
Consultation, service, specific task


Can be informal or formal
Typically more formal and structured

Nature of Interaction

Open discussion among participants
Focused, direct conversation


Can vary, often longer
Usually shorter with a set time

Meeting and Appointment Definitions


An organized event where participants discuss business, social, or organizational matters.
The company's annual general meeting attracted shareholders from across the country.


A scheduled interaction, often one-on-one, for consultations or personal services.
His appointment with the financial advisor helped clarify his investment options.


A gathering of people for a specific purpose, like discussion or decision-making.
The team held a meeting to discuss the project's progress.


An agreed time slot for meeting someone, especially in a professional context.
She confirmed her appointment for the job interview next Monday.


A session where group members collaborate or deliberate on shared interests.
The research team had a meeting to brainstorm new experimental designs.


A formal arrangement to meet someone at a particular time and place.
The professor had an appointment with a student to discuss the thesis.


A formal or informal assembly of individuals for collective decision-making.
The committee called a meeting to vote on the new policy.


A scheduled time set aside for specific tasks, like medical examinations or interviews.
They scheduled an appointment for a home repair service.


A scheduled event where multiple people come together to share information or ideas.
The community meeting gathered residents to discuss neighborhood safety.


A prearranged meeting at a specific time and place, often for professional services.
She made an appointment with her dentist for a check-up.


The act or process or an instance of coming together; an encounter.


The act of appointing or designating someone for an office or position.


An assembly or gathering of people, as for a business, social, or religious purpose.


The office or position to which one has been appointed.


What is a meeting?

A gathering of individuals for discussion, decision-making, or collaboration.

Are meetings always formal?

No, they can be either formal or informal, depending on the context.

Do appointments involve decision-making?

They can, but are often more focused on consultation or receiving a specific service.

What is an appointment?

A prearranged meeting, often one-on-one or in a small group, for a specific purpose.

How do meetings differ from appointments?

Meetings involve more participants and broader discussions, while appointments are more specific and often one-on-one.

Can appointments be informal?

They are generally more formal and structured, but can have informal aspects.

How long does an appointment usually last?

Appointments are generally shorter, with a predefined duration.

Can meetings have a predetermined end time?

Yes, especially in formal or business settings.

Are business gatherings always considered meetings?

Not necessarily; smaller, specific gatherings may be termed appointments.

Can a medical check-up be a meeting?

It's usually referred to as an appointment due to its one-on-one nature and specific health focus.

Do meetings require a formal agenda?

Formal meetings often have an agenda, but informal ones may not.

Is a job interview a meeting or an appointment?

It's typically considered an appointment due to its one-on-one nature and specific purpose.

Can appointments be with multiple people?

While less common, appointments can involve small groups, especially in professional settings.

What’s the typical duration of a meeting?

It varies, but meetings tend to be longer than appointments.

Can meetings be unplanned?

They are usually planned, but can occasionally be impromptu.

Are appointments always planned in advance?

Yes, they are typically scheduled ahead of time.

Are virtual interactions considered appointments?

Yes, appointments can also be conducted virtually, especially for consultations.

Is a lunch date an appointment?

In a casual context, it's a social arrangement, but can be considered an appointment in a formal setting.

Is a team brainstorming session a meeting or an appointment?

It is considered a meeting, involving collaboration and idea exchange.

Can meetings happen virtually?

Yes, meetings can occur in person or virtually.
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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