Difference Between Gossip and Rumor

People talk differently and there are many forms of communication and we all know that. However, it is not the only face- to- face communication that happens all the time but there are things that happen secretly too.

Things like gossiping and rumors are considered to be interactions but they are informal ones. These things happen mainly because an individual wants to share a piece of personal information with the other person.

Gossip and rumors can take place anywhere and you also might have been a part of a gossip or a rumor.

Gossip vs Rumor

The difference between gossip and rumor is that gossips are information that is shared by one person to the other sharing a personal detail or backbiting about someone and rumor, on the other hand, is an informal way of spreading unverified news or details.

Gossip vs Rumor

Gossips can happen between two people or even among groups of people. Gossips mainly happen when a person trusts a person or a group of individuals.

Trust is the key factor why gossips take place in the first place because gossips contain personal information in most cases.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonGossipRumor
BasisUnsubstantiated informationPresumptions of factuality
CharacteristicCulture of privacyMore public, universal interest
Primary motiveTo achieve status and ego needs in the societyTo cope with uncertainty
DefinitionGossip means transferring a message or information that is not verified and deals with personal subjects.A rumor, on the other hand, is spreading of unverified information and is passed through verbal among groups or people.
People RequiredIn order to a gossip to take place it can take place between two people.Rumors usually happen starting with one person spreading the information to others in an organisation or in a group.

What is Gossip?

Gossips are a form of communication that is considered to be an informal method because it usually happens between family and friends.

The information conveyed in gossip is usually a personal or private message. This is what makes a huge difference between gossips and rumors.

Gossips happen when a person trusts the other person or a group of persons because the conversations are private and happen to keep messages a secret.

You gossip when you are unsure of something or you want a piece of personal advice for something.

However, the information shared in gossip is not verified information and the message can be either truth or false information.

Gossip is something that can be information that can have negative thoughts and is considered to be harmful.

Harmful gossips happen when there are get together and someone has a negative view of something and shares it with the other person then the other person might take the gossip seriously and thus gossips like that become harmful.

Gossiping with your friends and families can be harmless too because gossips usually consist of jokes and making fun of others.

Say suppose you have a best friend with whom you share all your thoughts and feelings then it is harmless if you share messages that are about making fun of the other person or a separate person.


 What is a Rumor?

Rumor, on the other hand, is the spreading of a message starting from one person to the whole organisation or within an institute.

Rumors can be harmful as the information conveyed or passed through may or may not be true at all and this might lead to confusion too.

Say suppose you have an important meeting in an organisation but you hear several rumors that the meeting will not happen due to some reasons and then you do not prepare yourself.

But, later you see that the meeting takes place and then you are in deep trouble.

Similarly, one must not believe in all kinds of rumors because it will lead to confusion until and unless the rumor becomes a formal notice or a message from a higher authority.

This is the reason why rumors are not encouraged at all.

Rumors might spread fake messages about a person and it can lead to downfall of someone’s dignity also.

It is suggested by most large organisations and institutions that there should be no spreading of fake messages in the organisations at it will affect the motivation and morale of the employees.


Main Differences Between Gossip and Rumor

  1. Gossips are encouraged in most organisations as it can lead to building better relationships among people whereas a rumor is not encouraged by people.
  2. Gossips are considered to be less harmful than rumors.
  3. Rumors can lead to confusion because it is dangerous if a message is fake.
  4. Rumors include information that is unethical, not verified whereas gossips can have verified information.
  5. Gossips happen mostly among friends and families and is one of the informal ways of communicating verbally.
Difference Between Gossip and Rumor


  1. https://guilfordjournals.com/doi/abs/10.1521/aeap.15.5.357.23823
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1300/J075v23n02_07
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