Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Angel and Angle

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The words “angel” and “angle” have completely different meanings and usages although the both are nouns. They also sound very different when pronounced. The main problem that some have with these two words is that they have very similar spellings. The only difference being the transposing of the L and E. Strictly from a definition standpoint we can see the differences immediately. Angel is defined by Merriam-Webster’s dictionary as “a spiritual being that serves especially as a messenger from God or as a guardian of human beings”. One alternate definition would be “a person (such as a child) who is very good, kind, beautiful, etc.” This word has origins in Latin and Greek with the primary meaning of a spirit creature acting as a messenger of God. However, as mentioned above, this word can also be used to refer to people in a complimentary way. The adjective form would be “angelic” in describing something as very good or pleasant: “the singer’s voice is quite angelic”.

The word “angle”, however, is defined by Merriam-Webster’s dictionary as “the difference between the direction of two lines or surfaces that come together: the space or shape formed when two lines or surfaces meet each other.” Angles are typically measured in degrees. For example: “the lines form a 90 degree angle”. It should be noted that this word can also refer to the way of thinking about something. “We’re looking at this from the wrong angle.” Meaning that “we should think differently about that thing”.

Angle can also have a negative meaning when used to describe an alternative motive for doing or saying something. “He must have an angle for doing what he did, it just seems out of character.” In other words, it has the same meaning as “ulterior motive”. Angle can also be used as a verb to refer to the action of placing something in an angled position. “We need to angle the couch differently if we are to get it through the door.”

It should also be noted that “angle” can also refer to the action of fishing. Related words would be “angler” and “angling”. An angler is a person who is fishing or angling. “We went angling for fish”. However, it is more common to use the word “fishing” rather than “angling”.

So, while these words may look as though they are related, they actually have very different usages and meanings. It is important not to confuse these since the only difference in spelling is the transposition of the L and E. A way to remember the difference is that “angel” ends with the EL which comes from the Hebrew word for “God”. Remembering this will help you to remember that “angle” is used in reference to a heavenly spirit creature as opposed to the unrelated “angle”.


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2 Comments

  1. Immensely helpful

  2. Angel is spelled incorrectly in the last sentence.

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[0]http://www.gingersoftware.com/english-online/spelling-book/confusing-words/angel-angle

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