Difference Wiki

Package vs. Parcel: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on January 23, 2024
Package refers to a wrapped or boxed object, often for transport; parcel is a package, typically smaller and used for mailing or shipping.

Key Differences

Package and parcel both describe items prepared for shipping or transport. A package is a general term for any wrapped or boxed item, while a parcel specifically refers to a smaller, often mail-able item.
In the context of shipping, a package can be any size or shape, used broadly in commercial and personal contexts. A parcel, however, is usually associated with the postal system and tends to be smaller and more compact.
Packages can include a wide range of contents, from commercial goods to personal belongings. Parcels are often used for sending documents, small items, or gifts through mail services.
The term package is more common in American English, used in various contexts like software packages or holiday packages. Parcel is more common in British English, primarily used in the context of mail and delivery.
Packaging refers to the process of preparing items for transport or sale, while parceling often implies wrapping or preparing smaller items for mailing or delivery.

Comparison Chart

Size and Shape

Any size or shape
Typically smaller and compact

Usage Context

Broad, including commercial and personal
Mainly postal system and deliveries


Wide range, diverse contents
Often documents, small items, gifts

Language Preference

More common in American English
More common in British English

Associated Processes

Packaging for transport or sale
Parceling for mailing or delivery

Package and Parcel Definitions


A set of proposals or terms.
The company offered an attractive benefits package.


A small, wrapped package for mailing.
She sent a parcel containing books.


A wrapped or boxed item.
He received a large package from the courier.


An item prepared for shipment.
The parcel arrived at the post office.


A combination of services or products sold together.
They booked a holiday package to Hawaii.


A quantity or portion of something.
A parcel of shares was sold.


A collection or bundle of items.
The software came as a complete package.


A piece of land, especially in real estate.
They bought a small parcel of land.


The act of wrapping or boxing items.
She was busy with the package of gifts.


To divide into portions or distribute.
Resources were parceled out among departments.


A wrapped or boxed object; a parcel
A package arrived in the mail.


Something wrapped up or packaged; a package.


A container or wrapping in which something is stored, transported, or sold
Had trouble opening the package.


A plot of land, usually a division of a larger area.


What is a parcel?

A smaller package, typically used for mailing or shipping.

Is a parcel always small?

Typically, but not exclusively.

What is a package?

It's a wrapped or boxed item, often for transport.

Can a package be of any size?

Yes, packages can vary greatly in size.

Is parceling associated with personal mailing?

Yes, it's often used for personal shipments.

Are parcels typically used for documents?

Often, especially for secure mailing.

Are packages used in commercial shipping?

Yes, extensively in commercial contexts.

Can package refer to software?

Yes, as in software packages.

Can parcels be tracked?

Yes, most postal services offer tracking.

Can a package contain multiple items?

Yes, it can include various items.

Is the term package used globally?

Yes, but it's more common in American English.

Is parcel more common in British English?

Yes, it's frequently used in the UK.

Can a package be a set of terms or proposals?

Yes, like a benefits package.

Is a holiday package a travel deal?

Yes, it refers to a bundled travel offer.

Can parceling mean dividing into portions?

Yes, as in parceling out resources.

Are parcels mainly for postal services?

Yes, they are commonly used in mail systems.

Are packages used for gifts?

Yes, especially around holidays.

Is packaging important for product sales?

Yes, it's crucial for presentation and protection.

Does parceling involve wrapping?

Yes, parcels are usually wrapped or boxed.

Does parcel refer to land in real estate?

Yes, it's a term for a plot of land.
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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