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Supper vs. Dinner: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sawaira Riaz || By Sara Rehman || Published on December 16, 2023
Supper traditionally refers to a light or informal evening meal, while dinner is the main meal of the day, often eaten in the evening.

Key Differences

Supper, historically, was a lighter, secondary evening meal. Dinner, in contrast, has been considered the main meal of the day, whether eaten at midday or in the evening.
Sara Rehman
Dec 16, 2023
Supper is often viewed as a casual meal, sometimes consisting of leftovers or simple dishes. Dinner, however, is typically more elaborate and is a primary social event of the day.
Sara Rehman
Dec 16, 2023
The term supper is more commonly used in certain regions and among specific cultural groups. Dinner, meanwhile, is widely recognized and used in various English-speaking regions.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 16, 2023
Supper may occur later in the evening, following an early dinner, especially in cultures with a tradition of multiple daily meals. Dinner, when referred to as the evening meal, often occurs earlier than supper.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 16, 2023
Supper's connotation leans towards a family-oriented, at-home meal. Dinner, while also family-centric, is often associated with larger gatherings or dining out.
Janet White
Dec 16, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Time of Day

Traditionally a later evening meal
Can be midday or evening, but often evening
Sara Rehman
Dec 16, 2023

Formality

Generally informal and light
More formal and considered the main meal
Sara Rehman
Dec 16, 2023

Social Context

Often family-oriented and casual
Can be a social event or family gathering
Sara Rehman
Dec 16, 2023

Regional Usage

More common in specific regions/cultures
Widely used across different English-speaking areas
Janet White
Dec 16, 2023

Typical Composition

Lighter fare, sometimes leftovers
Heavier, more varied and elaborate dishes
Harlon Moss
Dec 16, 2023
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Supper and Dinner Definitions

Supper

A late evening meal, often simpler than the main meal of the day.
They enjoyed sandwiches for supper after the movie.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 02, 2023

Dinner

A formal or substantial meal in the late afternoon or evening.
The gala event included a sit-down dinner.
Sara Rehman
Dec 02, 2023

Supper

A casual meal eaten in the evening.
Supper at their house always felt cozy and relaxed.
Harlon Moss
Dec 02, 2023

Dinner

A large meal, often shared with family or friends.
Sunday dinner was a traditional family gathering.
Janet White
Dec 02, 2023

Supper

An informal evening meal, typically lighter than dinner.
We had soup and salad for supper.
Sara Rehman
Dec 02, 2023

Dinner

A significant meal, often signifying a social occasion.
They were invited to a formal dinner at the ambassador’s residence.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 02, 2023

Supper

The final meal of the day, usually less formal.
For supper, we often just have a light snack.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 02, 2023

Dinner

The principal meal, which can be elaborate or celebratory.
Their wedding dinner included a variety of gourmet dishes.
Sara Rehman
Dec 02, 2023

Supper

A smaller, evening meal, distinct from a formal dinner.
They invited us over for a casual supper next Friday.
Sara Rehman
Dec 02, 2023

Dinner

The main meal of the day, typically eaten in the evening.
They hosted a three-course dinner for the anniversary.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 02, 2023

Supper

An evening meal; dinner.
Sara Rehman
Dec 01, 2023

Dinner

The chief meal of the day, eaten in the evening or at midday.
Sara Rehman
Dec 01, 2023

Supper

A light or informal evening meal, especially when dinner is taken at midday.
Sara Rehman
Dec 01, 2023

Dinner

A banquet or formal meal in honor of a person or event.
Sara Rehman
Dec 01, 2023

FAQs

Is supper a formal occasion?

Supper is typically less formal than dinner.
Sara Rehman
Dec 16, 2023

Is supper always eaten after dinner?

Not necessarily; supper is often used interchangeably with dinner as the evening meal.
Sara Rehman
Dec 16, 2023

Can dinner be eaten at a restaurant?

Yes, dinner can be enjoyed at home or at a restaurant.
Janet White
Dec 16, 2023

Can dinner be the midday meal?

Yes, in some cultures and regions, dinner refers to the main midday meal.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 16, 2023

Is supper used more in rural areas?

In some regions, supper is more commonly used in rural settings.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 16, 2023

Is supper quicker to prepare than dinner?

Supper is often simpler and quicker to prepare.
Sara Rehman
Dec 16, 2023

Are dinner portions larger than supper?

Generally, dinner is a more substantial meal compared to supper.
Harlon Moss
Dec 16, 2023

Does the term supper vary by region?

Yes, the use and meaning of supper can vary in different regions.
Janet White
Dec 16, 2023

Is supper typically a family meal?

Yes, supper is often considered a family-oriented meal.
Sara Rehman
Dec 16, 2023

Do restaurants offer dinner specials?

Many restaurants offer special menus for dinner.
Sara Rehman
Dec 16, 2023

Do dinner meals include multiple courses?

Dinner, especially formal ones, can include multiple courses.
Sara Rehman
Dec 16, 2023

Is dinner associated with specific cuisines?

Dinner can vary widely in cuisine, depending on the culture.
Harlon Moss
Dec 16, 2023

Can dinner be a celebratory meal?

Yes, dinner is often used for celebrations and special occasions.
Sara Rehman
Dec 16, 2023

Is supper a British term?

Supper is used in British English, but its meaning can vary.
Sara Rehman
Dec 16, 2023

Can dinner be a buffet?

Yes, dinner can be served in various formats, including buffets.
Sara Rehman
Dec 16, 2023

Is supper the same as a snack?

No, supper is more substantial than a snack but lighter than dinner.
Sara Rehman
Dec 16, 2023

Can dinner be a social event?

Yes, dinner often serves as a primary social event.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 16, 2023

Can supper include desserts?

Yes, though supper is lighter, it can include desserts.
Sara Rehman
Dec 16, 2023

Does supper have a fixed time?

Supper time can vary, but it's generally in the late evening.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 16, 2023

Do dinner parties involve formal invitations?

Formal dinner parties often involve invitations, but casual dinners may not.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 16, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sara Rehman
Sara Rehman is a seasoned writer and editor with extensive experience at Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Information Technology, she combines her academic prowess with her passion for writing to deliver insightful and well-researched content.
Edited by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.

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