Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Mucus and Mucous


Words have evolved through the ages with humankind. Perhaps more than any other feature, it is the skill of language that puts us apart from the animal world. Human language is very unique in comparison to other forms of communication, such as those utilized by other forms of animals, since it permits humans to yield a vast set of utterances from a limited set of elements, and because the grammatical rules and symbols of any specific language are largely arbitrary, the organization or meaning can only be obtained through social interaction. The known systems of communication being used by animals, on the other hand, can only convey a finite number of utterances which are mostly genetically transmitted. Human language is also exceptional in that its multifaceted structure has evolved to serve a much broader range of functions than any other sort of communication system.

In general, words covey different meanings depending on how they are being used in a sentence. Some words even have one or more meaning, there are also words that are confusing which might lead us in using them incorrectly. Example of which are the words mucus and mucous. For some, these words are just the same but the truth is they are different and they are not supposed to be used interchangeably. Here are some of their notable differences that can guide us to the correct usage of these two words.

Mucus is a noun which means an oily material produced in the mucous membrane by the cells. Mucous membrane is characterized by smooth, skin-like linings that serve as a protection of the different organs in our body. Mucin is the main component of mucus, it is a compound of carbohydrate plus protein. Along with mucin are tissue cells, water, and even WBC that comprised the mucin. Coming from the glands as well as the membranes are mucus which lubricates our eyes. It also prevents dust and smoke to enter our lungs as a way of clearing our respiratory system. Mucus makes it easier for us to swallow our food since mucus formation is slimy in our throat and mouth, it also coats our stomach which helps keep the linings of our stomach wall from being destroyed by the hydrochloric acid produced inside our stomach. Mucus also helps cleanse and lubricate the vagina which streams from the cervix. In other words, mucus simply traps foreign substances. Bacteria and other pathogens are being trapped with the aid of mucus, hence making it easier for our antibodies to detect these pathogens.

In contrast, mucous is an adjective word which means secreting, containing, resembling, or covered with mucus. Mucous membrane is being described as a smooth, skin-like sheet that contains various glands found all over our body and it is also considered as the body’s first line of defense. Moreover, mucous is thought to be a continuous pattern of membranes that has mucus-secreting glands. These two words obviously have one letter that makes them different; mucous is spelled with an “o”.


1.Mucus is a noun while mucous is an adjective.

2.Mucus pertains to the oily substance produced by cells while mucous means containing or covered with mucus.

3.These two words differ in spelling.

4.Mucus consists of mainly of mucin plus salts, dead tissue cells, white blood cells, and water. Mucous is a continuous membrane that is soft skin-like linings that contains mucus-secreting glands.

5.The mucous membrane is the body’s first line of defense against disease whereas mucus traps foreign substances.

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