Difference Between Dinner And Supper With Examples



You’ve likely heard the terms dinner and supper at least once in your life, and chances are, you’ve even used them. But what is the difference between dinner and supper? This is a question that has been asked many times, and just as many different answers have been given. We’ll give you the answer to this question, and help you understand the difference between dinner and supper.

What Is Dinner?

Dinner is typically the larger and more important meal of the day. It is usually eaten in the evening, after work or school. The word “dinner” is actually derived from the Latin word “disjuncta”, which means “to break the fast”. In the olden days, dinner was the first meal of the day that broke the fast from the night before. Dinner is now often considered the main meal of the day, while supper is seen as a smaller and less important meal. The difference between the two is largely semantic, but supper is generally seen as a lighter meal than dinner.

What is Supper?

Supper is the evening meal. It is the final meal of the day, and it usually takes place sometime after dinner. It might include some lighter dishes like soup or salad, or it might just be a smaller portion of the typical dinner spread. Supper is a time for winding down and relaxing after a long day.

The distinction between dinner and supper is largely a historical one. Up until the 18th century, dinner was the main meal of the day, and supper was a smaller, lighter meal that was generally eaten later in the evening. Supper gradually became more popular and eventually overtook dinner as the main meal. Today, the terms are used more or less interchangeably, although many people still see supper as the more casual option.

Foods associated with dinner and supper

Dinner is typically the larger meal of the day, and is usually eaten earlier in the evening. It usually includes heavier dishes like meat or poultry, pasta, rice, and bread. On the other hand, supper is a smaller meal that’s usually eaten later in the evening. Supper usually consists of lighter fare like soup or salad. In some cases, people will refer to breakfast as “dinner” and dinner as “supper.” In most cases, though, dinner is the bigger meal of the day.

Some people might use the terms interchangeably, while others might specifically use one or the other to describe a particular meal. For example, if you’re having a Thanksgiving feast, you might call the main course dinner, while the smaller side dishes might be called supper. It all comes down to personal preference and context.

Is there a difference in the UK?

In the United States, we usually refer to dinner as the main evening meal. This is typically the largest and most important meal of the day. In the UK, however, dinner is considered a lighter meal that’s eaten earlier in the evening. Supper is the large, evening meal that’s eaten closer to bedtime. So if you’re planning on traveling to the UK or having friends over from the UK, be sure to adjust your meal times accordingly!

Also Read: Difference Between Pasta And Macaroni

Dinner vs Supper In Tabular Form

Description Dinner is the main taken either around afternoon or in the evening. Supper is the light evening meal or light meal eaten after dark.
Form Dinner is more complete than supper. Supper is not the main meal, it’s just something light taken before going to bed.
Examples Dinner can be chicken and Sushi, Turkey and  rice, Beans and Rice, pasta and meat, meatballs and vegetables etc. It may be a sandwich, a burger, hotdog, some salad or soup.
Nature Dinner can be the first, second or third meal of the day. Supper is generally the last meal of the day.
Size Dinner is generally a heavy meal of significant size.  Supper is generally a light and smaller meal.
Where its offered Dinner can be taken at events, hotels, parties, restaurants and homes. Supper is more often taken at home.
Time Taken between afternoon and evening (2pm-7pm). Taken in the evening (between 8pm-10pm).
Usage The word dinner tends to be the term chosen when the meal is more formal. Supper is often used when the meal is an informal, one eaten at home.

Also Read: Difference Between Coriander And Parsley


Dinner is generally the main meal of the day, eaten in the evening between noon and 8pm. Supper is a lighter meal that often occurs at night or later in the evening. There are no definitive rules dictating when you should have each meal. It is really up to you and your schedule. If you usually have a light lunch and would prefer to have a heartier meal in the evening, then supper is the right term for you. Alternatively, if you like to have an early dinner so you can spend more time with your family, then that works too. The important thing is that you are comfortable and satisfied with the meals you are eating.