Supper vs. Dinner

Difference between Supper and Dinner

Supper and dinner are two very contradicting words that their usage is not properly understood. Most people use them alternatively as they all refer to main meals.  Most people apparently don’t understand the differences that exist in the word. However due to regional and cultural variations that are exercised make the usage of the words to be the same, but let have a deeper look onto what are the real meaning and differences between these words.

Source and Differences

Dinner was used to refer to a formal evening meal. This was specifically used by the upper class and the middle class families in the Britain. This meal constitutes light meal containing sandwiches and tea. The lower and middle class used this term to refer to the last main meal of the day. This meal was usually being served in the evening. However the use of the two terms is interchangeable in the current world among different classes of people.

Supper is used to refer to the last main meal of the day in the United States, specifically in the south of the US.  However, in the dinner in the country is used to refer to a meal serve at midday, or after, and this is during the special days where ‘supper’, a light meal is served later in the day.


Dinner can be used to refer to a formal meal that has got a special meaning, either to owner a guest or a special event. It can be followed by a light meal however referred to as ‘supper’. In most incidences supper is used to mean a less formal meal that not only necessarily follows the formal meal.

Occasion and Framework

Even though the two terms are used alternatively, in the United States for example dinner is expected to be heavy and more flamboyant affair. That even if it is in small formal settings, it is predicted to be a full meal irrespective of the time that it is served. Usually light meals are served later in the twilight time of the day. In either cases lunch and supper are taken to refer to light meals for the day.

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