Difference Between Dinner and Supper

Who doesn’t enjoy eating, we all do. Eating food is very 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 taste and choice of food are also very different. Every food item has its significance in their life.

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

How they make food is entirely their choice but one thing is common among all that 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 across the world but Dinner and Supper are two words that often mixed or used interchangeably by people.

Dinner vs Supper

The main 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 a late afternoon or early evening time. People use 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.


Comparison Table Between Dinner and Supper (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of ComparisonDinnerSupper
DefinitionDinner is the last meal of the day which is heavy and wholesome, which is usually taken with the entire family.Supper is a very light meal that is usually taken in the form of soup or light snacks.
TimingDinner is usually 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 as a proper meal as people will have vegetables, curry, rice, 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, and in earlier days people use to refer the main or largest meal of the day as Dinner, without specifying the meal timings means Dinner can be taken at any time of the day but it needs to have appropriate foods items.

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

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

Dinner is done 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 mostly 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 and thus people follow the rule to have Supper in either late afternoon or early evening.

Earlier many families who belong to farming cook a pot of soup throughout the day and then eat the same in the evening means they ‘Sup’ the ‘Soup’ to ease out the tiredness of the entire day.

At 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 but yes now it is not considered as a meal but an appetitive activity.

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

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


Main Differences Between Dinner and Supper

The 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 are,

  1. Dinner is a heavy meal, whereas Supper is light.
  2. Dinner is taken in the late evening, whereas Supper is taken 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



No matter what meal pattern an individual follows, the main priority is to have a wholesome meal. In this challenging and stressful environment, one must follow a healthy dietary chart and never skip any meal.

Dinner and Supper have a close relationship but they are not the same. Supper, as the name suggests, is just to have something light and easy to digest.

If one wants to understand the chronological difference between Dinner and Supper, then just think you have arranged a party at your home and you serve your guests snacks, soups or any form of appetizers before serving them Dinner.

When you are doing the same, you are serving them a Supper as you want them to have something light to enjoy but at the same time, you want to keep room for a proper meal i.e. Dinner.

Thus, Supper is served before Dinner because it is appetitive but Dinner is a full nutritious meal with which a person ends his/her day.

But now the word Supper is no more used as people refer to the evening meal as Dinner only. However, for any meal, the rule is simple it should be fresh, nourishing, and nutritive.

Key Differences Between Dinner and Supper (PDF Format)

Download the key differences in .PDF format, to read or print them later:

Difference Between Dinner and Supper



  1. https://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/dinner
  2. https://www.definitions.net/definition/supper
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