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Home > Language > Words > Cite and Quote Compared

Difference Between Cite and Quote

Cite vs Quote

Cite and Quote are two words that are often confused. The confusion is no doubt caused by their similar meanings. Strictly speaking there is a thick line of difference between the two words as far as their meanings are concerned.

The word ‘quote’ is often used in the sense of repeating a passage or a phrase from a book or an essay. It is done by way of proof or to give an illustration. On the other hand the word ‘cite’ is used in the sense of repeating a passage or a phrase from a book especially as an authority. This is the main difference between the two words.

In other words it can be said that there is an element of authority in the action of citing whereas there is an element of proof in the action of quoting. The word ‘cite’ is used to confirm something as in the sentence, ‘the teacher cited many instances of hunger for power from history’.

The word ‘cite’ is used in the sense of ‘to commend’ for outstanding service or hard work as in the word ‘citation’. In Military the word is used to mention a soldier or a unit in orders as for gallantry. On the other hand the word ‘quote’ is used in the sense of brief excerpts from a book or a work.

It is interesting to note that the word ‘quote’ has a different meaning in the subject of commerce. It is in fact used to state a price or usually current price. The noun form of the verb ‘quote’ is ‘quotation’. On the other hand the noun form of ‘cite’ is ‘citer’. It is used as an adjective with the form ‘citable’. The word ‘cite’ is said to have originated from Latin ‘citare’ which means ‘summon before a church court’.


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