Difference Between Dinner and Supper

Dinner vs Supper

Dinner and supper are understood in the same sense although there is a difference between them. Dinner is a meal eaten earlier whereas supper is a meal eaten later. Dinner is taken between 2 pm and 5 pm whereas supper is taken between 7 pm and 11 pm. This concept of dinner and supper changes from culture to culture. As you can see, though they are different they are both taken in the latter half of the day. Dinner and supper habits of some countries as well as how to distinguish one from the other will be discussed in this article.

What is Dinner?

It is important to note that the time schedule of dinner and supper differs from country to country. Dinner is characterized by eating habits. Dinner differs by country and culture. It is interesting to note that in several countries people eat dinner before supper. They take dinner as their second lunch. One of the main characteristics of dinner is that dinner consists in heavier meal as the primary meal. It is interesting to note that many cultures across the world follow the three-meal per day schedule. Many would replace their dinner with lunch. There are countries that consider dinner as the meal eaten in the evening. Native speakers of English, on the contrary, use the word ‘dinner’ to refer to the principal meal of the day. According to BBC, in England, a common lunch would be a sandwich. However, a dinner would be a meal that includes a soup, meat with vegetables, and then a dessert too. People of some countries would prefer to have their main meal in the afternoon while others prefer to have their main meals in the evening. It goes to prove that the people world-wide concur with the idea that the meal that is eaten in the night should be lighter.

Difference Between Dinner and Supper

What is Supper?

Supper is to be understood as meals eaten after dark. Moreover, supper consists of a lighter meal, which cannot be equated to the primary meal. Some cultures consider lunch and supper to be characterized by lighter meals whereas dinner to be characterized by heavier meal. As a matter of fact the word supper is used mostly by the Americans. According to them, it is the meal eaten with the other members of the family at home. Dinner according to them is the meal that you eat along with some people that visit your home in the evening upon your invitation.

What is the difference between Dinner and Supper?

• Dinner is the main meal taken either around midday or in the evening whereas supper is the light evening meal or light meal eaten after dark.

• However, the eating habit differs from culture to culture and, in all cultures, a lighter meal is eaten in the night.

• One of the main differences between dinner and supper is that dinner is a heavy meal while supper is a light meal.

• A typical English dinner might consist a soup, meat with vegetables and a dessert too.

• For Americans, the term supper means normal evening meal, but they tend to use the term dinner when they have invited someone over for a meal in the evening.


Images Courtesy: 

  1. Dinner by Accuruss (CC BY-SA 3.0)