Dinner vs Supper: Difference and Comparison

Who doesn’t enjoy eating? We all do. Eating food is essential for one’s survival; we all need to have food to remain active, energized, healthy, and immune.

People across the globe are from varied cultures and religious backgrounds. Thus their tastes and choice of food are also very different. Every food item has its significance in their life.

Some like boiled or partially cooked food items, whereas few like fully cooked or baked.

How they make food is entirely their choice, but one thing that is shared among all is how they refer to the timing of the meals, i.e. morning tea, breakfast, lunch, evening tea/snack, supper, or dinner.

Meal timings are almost similar worldwide, but Dinner and Supper are two words mixed or used interchangeably by people.

Key Takeaways

  1. Dinner was originally referred to as the main meal of the day, eaten in the afternoon or early evening. At the same time, supper was a lighter meal consumed later in the evening.
  2. In modern usage, dinner and supper are used interchangeably in some regions, referring to the main evening meal.
  3. Regional and cultural differences can influence the preferred terminology and mealtime customs.

Dinner vs Supper

The difference between Dinner and Supper is that Dinner is the heavy and last main meal of the day that people use to have in the late evening. The word ‘dinner’ means ‘to break one’s fast.’ Supper is a very light meal of the day that people use to have late afternoon or early evening time. People used to have soup or a light snack before dinner.

Dinner vs Supper

In some places, Dinner also means having a meal with a group of people, or it is a meal that everyone has or enjoys with all family members altogether.

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Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonDinnerSupper
DefinitionDinner is the last meal of the day which is heavy and wholesome and is taken with the entire family.Supper is a very light meal that is taken in the form of soup or light snacks.
TimingDinner is taken in the late evening. It is the last meal of the day.Supper is taken in the late afternoon or early evening. It fills the gap between lunch and dinner.
Meal TypeDinner is considered a proper meal as people will have vegetables, curry, rice, and bread in their dinner.Supper is not considered as a meal but a form appetitive snack.


What is Dinner?

Dinner, in simple terms, means “Dine in” to break one’s fast. In earlier days, people used to refer to the primary or most significant meal of the day as Dinner without specifying the meal timing means Dinner could be taken at any time of the day. Still, it needs to have appropriate food items.

Here largest doesn’t replicate the size in terms of weight but size in terms of the appropriate quantity of nutrition.

But as time changed and we moved into the modern era, so many things have been altered and also modified Dinner’s associated characteristics. It remains the main heavy meal of the day, but the time to have it is set to late evening.

Dinner is made in the evening so that farmers, workers, and their families can finish their long and hectic day with a steady and healthy meal to get stimulated with ease.

Food items may vary from person to person or country to country, but primarily vegetables, chicken, meat, curry, rice, bread, etc., are included in Dinner.


What is Supper?

Supper comes from the word Souper, a french word which in English means the evening meal. Here, time is explicitly mentioned; thus, people follow the rule of having Supper in the late afternoon or early evening.

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Earlier, many families who belonged to farming cooked a pot of soup throughout the day and then ate the same in the evening, meaning they ‘Sup’ the ‘Soup’ to ease the tiredness of the entire day.

In many places still, Supper is used to refer to the evening meal as compared to Dinner.

But as we stated above, as time changed, many things have been modified; the same happened with Supper too. Although the timing of the Supper is not changed, yes, now it is not considered a meal but an appetitive activity.

When you invite guests home for Dinner, Supper is the first thing you serve them, i.e. offer them something light to eat.

In Supper, people used to have soup, salads, chickpeas, corn, snacks or anything light to eat.


Main Differences Between Dinner and Supper

People who follow a healthy regime or hygiene well understand the importance of every meal or snack time. Dinner and Supper both have their significance. To summarize, the main difference between Dinner and Supper is,

  1. Dinner is a heavy meal, whereas Supper is light.
  2. Dinner is in the late evening, whereas Supper is in the late afternoon or early evening.
  3. Dinner is one complete meal, whereas Supper is taken as an appetizer.
Difference Between Dinner and Supper
  1. https://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/dinner
  2. https://www.definitions.net/definition/supper

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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20 thoughts on “Dinner vs Supper: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The evolution from ‘dinner’ being a meal that could be eaten at any time of the day to being specifically associated with the evening meal is noteworthy.


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