Pound vs Ounce: Difference and Comparison

Pound and ounce are units of measure used to weigh objects, things, and living beings (for pounds). A pound is also written in Ib. And an ounce is also registered as oz.

They both are mainly used under the avoirdupois pound system. The pound has been used in various countries, especially in the United Kingdom, after its implementation during the Weights and Measures Act in 1963.

An ounce is involved in various systems as well that are recognized worldwide, the most common being the imperial and the United States customary systems.

Key Takeaways

  1. A pound is a unit of weight equal to 16 ounces, while an ounce is a unit of weight equal to 1/16 of a pound.
  2. Pounds are used to measure larger items, such as people or animals, while ounces are used to measure smaller items, such as food or jewellery.
  3. Pounds are commonly abbreviated as “lb,” while ounces are abbreviated as “oz.”

Pound vs Ounce

The difference between a pound and an ounce is that a unit of an ounce is smaller than a unit of a pound. An ounce is tiny as opposed to a pound. To state mathematically, Every 16 single units of an ounce equals 1 pound.

Pound vs Ounce

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16 units of ounce= 1 pound

The pound is used for weighing babies, adults and big items of structure such as Furniture, whereas the ounce measures small units of things like measurements of drinks or items used in baking.

A pound is a unit used to measure things and living beings like Bread, dogs, Babies, etc. It is defined precisely as 0.45359237 kg.

An ounce is a smaller unit than a pound used to measure pencils, cream, brushes, etc. It is defined as precisely 28.349523125 g. Different systems are used in various countries; thus, the weight can vary from system to system.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonPoundOunce
Items/productsThe unit is used to measure more significant items.The unit is used to measure smaller items.
MeasurementIs biggerIs smaller.
Represented asIt is represented by the abbreviation lb./Ibs. (plural)It is represented by the abbreviation oz.
Mostly used for:weighing people, newborn babiespackaged food and beverages, stationery
Parts in grams453.5923728.3495231
Name came fromLatin Word  pondusLatin Word Uncia

What is Pound?

A pound is a unit of mass measurement derived from the Latin word libra pondus. We can easily measure the team for any required amount that we want.

It is used to measure big volume items that can also be weigh-in Kilograms.

The unit for the required amount can be known from a weighing scale. An alternative symbol is lbm.  It is used prominently in the United States.

There are different types of pounds: Merchants pound, Tower pound, London pound and apothecaries’ or Troy pound, but the most common is the avoirdupois pound.

According to the Weights and Measures Act of 1878, the Troy pound was banned, Though the Troy ounce could be used to estimate jewel stones like gold, silver, platinum, etc.


What is Ounce?

An ounce is another unit of mass measurement derived from the Latin word uncia, a unit that was 112 of the Roman pound.

Today the most commonly used one is avoirdupois. It is used to weigh small things that can also be considered in Grams.

It is even used to describe the amount of food/liquid that a person might intake.

Aside from the avoirdupois ounce, there are mainly three types of ounces: Troy pound, fluid ounce and ounce force.

Troy ounce or apothecaries’ ounce is used to measure metals such as gold, platinum, palladium, rhodium and silver; Metal bars and Bullion Coins (Coins preserved as investments for the future).

Though in the United Kingdom in the year 2000, it was not allowed for usage, it is still being used informally and commonly as the indicator for portion sizes in restaurants.

The main thing used to measure it is essential kitchen spoons and tools.


Main Differences Between Pound and Ounce

  1. The pound is a much larger unit of measurement than ounces since 16 units of an ounce make 1 pound. For example, If I pen=1 ounce, 16 pens of that 1 ounce would make a Pound.
  2. Troy Ounce is still used today in the United Kingdom to measure precious gems like platinum, silver, rhodium, and mainly gold. But usage of the Troy pound is banned by the government of the United Kingdom, considering it no longer a legal unit of trade. It was announced on 6 January 1879 by the Weights and Measures Act of 1878.
  3. Small things like pens, Volume of drinks, etc., are always measured in Ounces (Oz), whereas Newborn babies and Adults are always measured in Pounds.
  4. The abbreviation of lb came from the Roman word Libra, and the abbreviation oz came later from the cognate Italian word onza (now known as oncia).
  5. Though the Ounce is used for proportioning drinks/ beverages in the United Kingdom, it is only used for this purpose as the United Kingdom ceased it to be a legal unit of measure in 2000. On the other hand, the Pound can and is legally used to measure anything that the person desires.
  6. Ounces can be converted to pounds by multiplying it by sixteen. Pounds are converted to ounces by dividing them by sixteen.
Difference Between Pound and Ounce


  1. https://arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/0011063

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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27 thoughts on “Pound vs Ounce: Difference and Comparison”

  1. I’m not sure if the comparison to 16 pens is the best way to illustrate the difference between pounds and ounces, but the rest of the article is quite educational.

    1. Avatar of Marshall Yasmine
      Marshall Yasmine

      It’s definitely an unconventional comparison, but it serves its purpose in making the concept more digestible.

  2. Avatar of Danielle Walsh
    Danielle Walsh

    The comparison between the pound and the ounce was quite clever and made the topic more relatable. Good execution.

  3. This article does a great job explaining the differences between a pound and an ounce, and it provides a lot of detail. I feel like I’ve learned a lot.

  4. The section dedicated to the historical origins of pounds and ounces added a lot of value to this piece.

    1. I didn’t expect to find the history of these measurements interesting, but it was a pleasant surprise.

  5. This article is incredibly dry and boring. It reads more like a technical manual than an engaging piece on weights and measures.

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