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Nostalgic vs. Sentimental: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Updated on October 17, 2023
Nostalgic is not an incorrect spelling of Sentimental; both are correct but convey different emotions. "Sentimental" refers to being led by feelings, especially affectionate or nostalgic feelings.

Key Differences

Differentiate by meaning: "Nostalgic" involves a wistful longing for the past, "Sentimental" implies emotional attachment or overemotional responses.
"Nostalgic" originates from "nostalgia," focusing on the past; "Sentimental" relates to "sentiment," indicating emotions in general.
Recall "nostalgic" has "past" within, pointing to its connection to the past; "Sentimental" contains "mental," indicating a state of mind.
"Nostalgic" is specific to memories, while "Sentimental" broadly applies to any emotions or feelings.
"Nostalgic" often relates to happy personal memories, whereas "Sentimental" can be for both happy and sad emotions.

Nostalgic and Sentimental Definitions


Nostalgic is an incorrect spelling of Sentimental.


Having, showing, or caused by an exaggerated emotion or sentimentalism.
The song had sentimental lyrics, evoking deep emotions.


Of or prompted by feelings of tenderness, sadness, or nostalgia.
She values sentimental gifts more than expensive ones.


Excessively prone to feelings of tenderness, sadness, or nostalgia.
He is too sentimental when watching romantic movies.


Having or arousing feelings of tenderness, sadness, or nostalgia.
She kept the sentimental letter from her first love.


Appealing to the emotions excessively.
Critics described the film as predictably sentimental.


Having, showing, or caused by emotion, especially tender or affectionate feeling
I have sentimental ties to the small town I grew up in.


Having, showing, or caused by strong or extravagant tenderness or sadness, often in an idealized way
"He had no sentimental illusions about poverty's virtues" (Sherill Tippins).


Characterized by sentiment, sentimentality or excess emotion.


Derived from emotion rather than reason; of or caused by sentiment.




Having, expressing, or containing a sentiment or sentiments; abounding with moral reflections; containing a moral reflection; didactic.
Nay, ev'n each moral sentimental stroke,Where not the character, but poet, spoke,He lopped, as foreign to his chaste design,Nor spared a useless, though a golden line.


Inclined to sentiment; having an excess of sentiment or sensibility; indulging the sensibilities for their own sake; artificially or affectedly tender; - often in a reproachful sense.
A sentimental mind is rather prone to overwrought feeling and exaggerated tenderness.


Addressed or pleasing to the emotions only, usually to the weaker and the unregulated emotions.


Given to or marked by sentiment or sentimentality


Effusively or insincerely emotional;
A bathetic novel
Maudlin expressons of sympathy
Mushy effusiveness
A schmaltzy song
Sentimental soap operas
Slushy poetry


What is the root word of Sentimental?

The root word is "sentiment," which refers to an emotion or feeling.

What is the pronunciation of Sentimental?

It is pronounced as /ˌsen.tɪˈmen.t̬əl/.

Why is it called Sentimental?

It's called "Sentimental" because it pertains to or is influenced by sentiment or feelings.

Which vowel is used before Sentimental?

There is no specific vowel that comes before "Sentimental."

Which conjunction is used with Sentimental?

There's no specific conjunction used exclusively with "Sentimental"; it depends on the sentence.

What is the singular form of Sentimental?

"Sentimental" itself is a singular form.

What is the verb form of Sentimental?

There isn't a verb form of "Sentimental"; however, you could use "sentimentalize."

Which preposition is used with Sentimental?

Prepositions like "about," "towards," and "over" can be used with "Sentimental."

What is the plural form of Sentimental?

As an adjective, "Sentimental" does not have a plural form.

Is Sentimental a countable noun?

It's not a noun; it's an adjective.

Is the Sentimental term a metaphor?

On its own, it's not a metaphor, but it can be used metaphorically in speech or writing.

Is the word Sentimental imperative?

No, "Sentimental" is not imperative; it's an adjective.

Is Sentimental an abstract noun?

It's not a noun; it's an adjective describing a state of emotion.

What is a stressed syllable in Sentimental?

The stressed syllable is on the second syllable: "ti."

Is Sentimental a collective noun?

No, "Sentimental" is an adjective, not a collective noun.

How do we divide Sentimental into syllables?

It is divided as sen-ti-men-tal.

What is the opposite of Sentimental?

Opposites include "unsentimental," "stoic," or "apathetic."

Which article is used with Sentimental?

Both "a" and "the" can be used with "Sentimental," depending on the context.

Is Sentimental a noun or adjective?

"Sentimental" is primarily used as an adjective.

Is Sentimental a vowel or consonant?

"Sentimental" is a word, not a letter; it contains both vowels and consonants.

How many syllables are in Sentimental?

There are four syllables in "Sentimental."

What is the second form of Sentimental?

It doesn't have a second form as it's an adjective.

What is the third form of Sentimental?

It doesn't have a third form as it's an adjective.

How is Sentimental used in a sentence?

In a sentence: "The bride became sentimental when her father gave a touching speech at the wedding."

What is another term for Sentimental?

Synonyms include "emotional," "mawkish," or "romantic."

What is the first form of Sentimental?

As an adjective, it doesn't have forms like verbs do; it's "Sentimental."

Is Sentimental an adverb?

No, but "sentimentally" is the adverbial form.

Is Sentimental a negative or positive word?

It is neutral and depends on context, but can sometimes have a negative connotation if it implies excessive emotionality.

What part of speech is Sentimental?

It is an adjective.

Which determiner is used with Sentimental?

Determiners like "this," "that," "her," and "my" can be used, depending on context.
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
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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