Difference Between Bounteous and Bountiful

Bounteous and bountiful are two adjectives that are derived from the same root word, bounty. Even though the words look alike, circumstances in which these could be interchanged are very rare as they eventually signify different things.

Their root words being the same doesn’t mean they can be used instead of each other in any sentence as it may change the meaning.

Bounteous vs Bountiful

The main difference between bounteous and bountiful is that while bounteous describes quality as like something, bountiful refers to the quantity of a thing and points towards the substance something is filled with. With two opposing meanings, it is not possible to give the words the same weightage in a sentence as it might give some other meaning.

Bounteous vs Bountiful

Bounteous stands for something that refers to the quality of someone or something. In general, it shows that someone is great in their personality and has no regrets in giving others as much as they possibly can.

It is an adjective to indicate the goodness in somebody. It is commonly used for descriptive purposes.

Bountiful is an adjective that is used to describe the fullness of something. It can be used to refer to gifts, things, stationery, furniture, etc.

There is no limit to using the word bountiful as it is an open adjective with much-speculated usage in sentences. In general, it is used for the description of the quantity of something presented to someone.

Comparison Table Between Bounteous and Bountiful

Parameters of ComparisonBounteousBountiful  
Mean GenerousYesNo
Is A Synonym for AbundanceNoYes
Refers To People AloneYesNo
Suffix Added to Bounty-ous-ful

What is Bounteous?

Bounteous is an adjective that is derived from the root word bounty which is a noun.

By the addition of the suffix -ous to the word bounty, we get the descriptive word bounteous.

It is not common to see bounteous being used in a sentence casually because people still don’t think it is a real word.

It is a qualitative description and an open adjective used for describing the goodness or generosity of someone.

Bounteous means generous and not in a quantitative manner but a highly qualitative one.

To say that Sam is a very bounteous person is to means that Sam is generous and doesn’t mind giving out to people irrespective of any other factors such as race, class, or even financial status.

Due to the ignorance of people regarding English grammar, people don’t commonly use bounteous in a sentence.

They instead use the synonym word generous. Sam is very generous is as same as Sam is very bounteous.

It shows the willingness of someone to openly give or gift something to someone without considering the money factor.

Ross is a very bounteous man as he gave the charity a couple of thousand rupees without even thinking straight out of his pocket.

This sentence shows the clear meaning of bounteous being explained in other words.

Being inconsiderate could be seen as an opposite to the word bounteous.

On Halloween, Sarah gave out a bounteous amount of candy to the orphanage.

This statement depicts not Sarah’s quality but describes the quantity of candy given out by her.

This gift by her is a huge amount or in other words a generous amount of candy. It is seen as a gift from her in a very generous manner.

What is Bountiful?

Bountiful is an adjective of the noun bounty that is commonly seen used in the English language besides a quantitative analysis.

It is formed by adding the -ful suffix to the root word bounty.

While being used in a sentence the word bountiful always describes the quantity of something.

This could be used to signify the fullness of something that is being given as a gift or the abundance of any substance, say in nature.

Sam had a bountiful harvest at his wheat field this harvest year.

This statement goes on to indicate the greater quantity of wheat that Sam might have had at his farm when compared to the harvest of other farmers in the area.

Mike had been seen unloading bountiful malt made from barley and rye onto this truck.

This also shows the high quantity of liquid that Mike has.

Bountiful doesn’t show any quality in a person but rather the amount of any substance that is the object in a sentence.

Even though it has been circulating in the grammar world for a long time now, the word bountiful only saw a leap in its use during the industrial revolution.

That was when this word became a solid reference to anything being in abundance.

Priya had come to the old age home with a bountiful of presents.

This statement signifies not Priya’s generosity but rather sheds light on the number of gifts that she had brought along with her for the inmates at the old age home.

Main Differences Between Bounteous and Bountiful

  1. Bounteous has a suffix -ous added to the root word bounty whereas bountiful has the suffix -ful added to the root word.
  2. Bountiful is an adjective for describing a quantity whereas bounteous describes a quality.
  3. Bountiful is usually used to describe an object and rarely is used as an adjective to signify people whereas bounteous is usually used only for people rather than things.
  4. While the antonym for bounteous is greedy or miser the antonym for bountiful is less or barely any.
  5. Bountiful is synonymous with the word abundance whereas bounteous is synonymous with the word generous.
Difference Between Bounteous and Bountiful


 Both bounteous and bountiful originate from the single root word bounty.

They are both generally used to describe something in mass or a great quantity or quality.

Bountiful is used more often by people because people tend to be unaware of the fact that bounteous is a word.

This lack of fame for the word bounteous has accelerated the use of the word generous for the same intended meaning.

Given that people, in general, use bountiful for describing the abundance of some substance in nature, that doesn’t indicate it is never used for people.

There might be instances that people might misunderstand the meanings of the two words and interchange them.


  1. https://evols.library.manoa.hawaii.edu/bitstream/10524/48714/mono101.pdf
  2. https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev-arplant-050312-120048
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