Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Peer and Acquaintance

Peer vs Acquaintance

An individual can have peers or acquaintances in any stage of life or in any occasion. Peers and acquaintances are also a staple in a person’s life aside from friends and family. Both terms apply to people who share a casual or shallow relationship with a particular person. Though there is less degree of intimacy between two parties, peers and acquaintances are often helpful in many ways. Both relationships can also be a starting point and can develop to a deeper and profound relationship such as a friendship or as a romantic involvement.

Peers are often regarded as people with the same standing or having the same attributes, whether of education, status, work, interests, industry, talent, skills, and other determining factors and similar backgrounds. The word’s etymology came from the Old French “per” which came from the Latin “pār” which means “equal.”

There is an advantage for peers that both individuals already share a common ground. This makes a good starting point for interaction. People recognize each other due to their similarities and can form a bond based on those similarities.

On the other hand, acquaintances are people who, in an individual’s view, are practically considered as a stranger due to the lack of personal information, connection, and interaction with the said individual. Though acquaintances can induce a certain but low amount of familiarity, they are more susceptible to be forgotten after a considerable amount of time if there is no attempt for interaction or reconnection from one party.
Acquaintance came from the Middle English word “aqueinta” and from the Old French “acointance.” Both words mean “make known.”

Most of the time, acquaintances are familiar by virtue of remembering and acknowledging by sight or by an introduction of another friend or a familiar connection. Though an acquaintance is considered as having a lesser form of intimacy, the familiarity brought by the occasional and regular interaction can form a bond between the two parties. Also, being an acquaintance is considered by many to be the first stage of friendship. Though this situation can also be true for a peer, being an acquaintance can be considered as the starting point for any interaction, whether it may be for a peer or a complete stranger.


1.Both peers and acquaintances belong to the category of people who are considered to have less intimate or deep relationships compared to a friendship. The main difference between the two is that a peer indicates a person of the same quality or background while an acquaintance is a person with little information but is familiar. This refers and corresponds to the meaning of both terms. “Acquaintance” means “to make known” while “peer” means “an equal.”
2.An acquaintance can have the advantage of being seen on a routine basis. From this routine can develop a bond or a friendship. Being an acquaintance is usually a stepping stone for further relationships. The advantage of a peer is there is already an existing common ground which both parties can be the reason for bonding between two individuals. This speeds up the process from being a peer into becoming a friend.
3.“Acquaintance” usually connotes a vague term or description for people. It can refer to or cover other relative terms such as; colleague, associate, contact, ally, schoolmate (and other types of mate), comrade, and other people that are considered to be one. A peer is a more specific description of person compared to an acquaintance.
4.Acquaintances can also be receiving a more casual relationship compared to peers due to a lack of trust and wariness of other people.

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1 Comment

  1. I tried to give you 5 stars for this article, but it replied that I was not verified.
    The article is well written, but I never saw any problem with someone getting the two terms confused. Oh well……

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