Duel vs Dual
There are many pairs of words in English language that have nearly same pronunciations causing difficulty for the people. It is confusing for many to choose the right word of the pair in a context because of phonetic similarities. One such pair is dual and duel where the words have the same pronunciation but differ greatly in their meanings. This article attempts to highlight the difference between duel and dual, explaining their meaning, as well as their usage.
Duel is a word that has been derived from Latin duellum that means war. Thus, a duel is a fight between two individuals. It is common to see the word being used for boxing matches where the contest is described as a duel. Election fight between candidates is also described as a duel.
In medieval times, a duel was considered the best way to settle the dispute between two individuals. Both individuals were given the same weapon to be on an equal footing, and the duel was organized to settle the dispute once and for all. Thus, a duel was mostly a prearranged fight between two individuals to settle a dispute over an issue involving honor and pride. However, with the passage of time, this system of a prearranged fight has ended but the word still remains and is applied to any fight between individuals whether a war of words or a war of ballet. Take a look at the following examples.
• The two friends found themselves pitted in a duel.
• In medieval times, it was common for people to settle the dispute by entering into duels.
• Barrack Obama and Mitt Romney are facing off in a grueling duel to decide the next President of the USA.
Dual is a word that has been derived from Latin dualis or duo that literally means two or double. This is why we have a dual camera device and dual role performed by an actor in a movie. An aircraft has dual controls for the pilot as well as the co-pilot. A person behaving one way in public and quite the opposite in private is said to have a dual personality. Take a look at the following examples.
• Jonathan was born in India but has British parents thus having dual citizenship.
• The latest bike has dual carburetors.
• After the death of his wife, Clint had to play the dual role of a bread winner as well as that of a mother to his kids.
• His smartphone has dual cameras, front one for taking self portraits while the rear one for shooting others.
What is the difference between Duel and Dual?
• Dual is used for double or two whereas duel is used to indicate fight or struggle between two people.
• Dual is an adjective meaning double whereas duel is a verb that describes a fight between two people.