Difference Between Mucus and Mucous - Ask Any Difference

Difference Between Mucus and Mucous

Certain glands and various organs in our body secrete vivid organic and inorganic secretions that form a layer over other glands, body walls, or organs so that they can do lubrication on them. They have certain functions, purposes, and actions that can be analyzed in a biological aspect. 

Mucus vs Mucous

The main difference between mucus and mucous is that mucus is a noun which is a secretion, a fluid basically, from certain membranes of the body whereas mucous is an adjective term that is used with the relation to membranes that secrete mucus. Both the terms have a vast deep difference.

Mucus vs Mucous

Mucus is a noun. The word is used as a term we give to the secretion of aqueous or slippery fluids that the membranes of our body products so that a lubricating protective layer can be made over other body areas which require certain organic or inorganic fluids. 

Mucous is a word that is an adjective. It is not a fluid that is secreted but it is used when something is to be related with the mucus secretion. For instance, the membranes that secrete mucus are called mucous membranes. Mucous is a membrane that secretes mucus fluid.

Comparison Table Between Mucus and Mucous

Parameters of ComparisonMucus Mucous
MeaningMucus is an aqueous and slippery fluid that is secreted by specific membranes of the body.Mucous is a word that is used for relating to mucus or defining something that resembles mucus.
Grammatical useMucus is the form of an uncountable noun. A noun names something.A mucous word is an adjective to describe mucus. It is used with membranes.
StateA mucus is a fluid that stays in a liquid state.Mucous is described as a membrane chain and is in a solid-state.
Fundamental constituentsMucus is an oily aqueous and thick liquid containing salts, dead cells, water, etc.Mucous, known as membrane, contains glands that secrete mucus and inner linings like skin.
StabilityMucus is not stable. It can continue to flow or bind over the surfaces.Mucous is membranous and secretes mucus. It is stable.

What is Mucus?

Mucus is a slippery, aqueous, little viscous, and the thick fluid that is secreted by glands and mucous membranes in the body. The mucus word itself in Latin English means slime and slippery substance. Mucus is secreted by certain glands and mucous membranes in different regions inside the body.

Mucus is a fluid substance that is the combination of inorganic and organic constituents such as dead cells, specific salts, and inorganic materials, lubricating fluids, water, enzymes, etc secreted by certain body parts. It is a very complex fluid and is secreted in specific proportions and manner from several glands. Its main function is to offer lubrication to the body’s inner linings and glands that require protection. Whenever the body needs proportions and protection from foreign particles or just a thin layer, mucus is produced and made in use by the body.

It comes in the line of the defense system that the body adapts to treat foreign particles like pathogens. Mucus secretion has several roles for different catabolic and anabolic processes in the body and almost all the systems of the body like the respiratory system, excretory system, etc. The excessive secretion or less secretion of it also marks certain problems and actions that the body faces.

What is Mucous?

Mucous is a word that we use when we have to relate something with the fluid mucus. It refers to the secretion of mucus fluid. Mucous is also used synonymously with the mucous glands and the mucous membranes. These mucous glands and mucous membranes do the secretion of mucus.

In other words, the mucous term is also used as the inner lining and pattern of several membranes and the body’s internal linings that secrete mucus fluid. It is a membranous substance and consists of constituents like cells, inorganic and organic salts, enzymes linked with the membranous walls of the body. These membranes secrete mucus fluid. The fluid is also secreted and maintained by specific glands in the body. Not just the glands and the membranes, the fluid is also secreted by several tissues and organs of the body.

Moreover, the mucous membranes lie in several body regions like the nose, mouth, lungs, etc. They are always moist and wet because the secretion keeps them optimal. Mucous membranes adhere to the inner linings of the body and produce mucus. Mucous membranes best serve the task of protecting the body from foreign invaders like pathogens. They trap the foreign particles and protect the body.

Main Differences Between Mucus and Mucous

  1. Mucus is a viscous, thick, and nearly white fluid secreted by the glands whereas mucous is a set of membranes or glands that are membranous and solid having internal linings with body cells and tissues. 
  2. Mucus does not contain membranes and bloodstreams whereas mucous is membranous and consists of blood linings.
  3. The action of mucus is measured by its quantity and constituents in it whereas the mucous membranes are very active in almost everybody region.
  4. Mucus destroys the foreign material whereas mucous membranes and glands trap them as the body’s first line of defense.
  5. Mucus takes less time to get secreted and act whereas mucous membranes build up in long times.


Though we can pronounce mucus and mucous in the same way, they differ in their spellings. These are two such words that people use in their day-to-day life but in the wrong way. The two words are often interchanged with each other in certain aspects. They have their own biological and grammatical explanations but the functions of the two are also a bit different. Mucus acts in protecting the body against pathogens by becoming a lubricating layer whereas mucous membranes trap foreign invaders and support the body’s first line of the body defense system. The above research of mucus and mucous membranes deals in a detailed way such that the difference between the two becomes very clear. 


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