Among vs Amongst

Among vs Amongst

Among and amongst are variations of the same word. The main difference between among and amongst is that among has its roots in Old English, while amongst has its origins in Middle English. 

Though the terms’ meanings are the same, among is more commonly used than amongst. Besides, there’s another critical difference between the two.  

Among vs Amongst

in company with, surrounded by, or in the midst ofMeaningsurrounded by, in company with, or the midst of
First appeared in the Old English period, between the 5th century to late 11th centuryOriginFirst appeared later in the Middle English period, around the mid-12th to the mid-15th century
Among is common in American EnglishUsageAmongst is common in British English

What Does Among Mean? 

The term among is a preposition that refers to a group of things or people with some similarities. In other words, it represents something that is a part of a group

Among traces its origin from the old English. It was originally a phrase that meant in a crowd.

Among vs Amongst

Idioms That Use Among 

  • “Honor among thieves”
  • “To be first among equals”
  • “Count or rank among” 

Synonyms of Among

  • Amid
  • Amidst
  • In the middle of
  • Out of
  • In the midst of
  • Surrounded by
  • In the company of
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Examples of Among 

  • Rita and Ailee, can you keep this secret among yourselves?
  • I listened among the crowd as the singer finished his song.
  • Discuss the new idea among yourselves.
  • Riya is now among those who disagree with the CEO.
  • He left the cat among the pigeons.

When to Use Among 

Among blends well with colloquial writing like letters, modern fiction, and memos. The term is more common in American writing.

What Does Amongst Mean?

The term amongst is a preposition that appeared in Middle English. Unlike among, it is commonly used in British English. It also refers to a group of people or things. 

Adding -st in the ending of among came from an obsolete grammar rule in which adverb forms of words ending in -st

Synonyms of Amongst

  • Amid
  • Amidst
  • In the middle of
  • Out of
  • In the midst of
  • Surrounded by
  • In the company of

Examples of Amongst

  • We are amongst friends here in New York.
  • Guys, can we keep this amongst ourselves?
  • I listened amongst the crowd as the singer finished his song.
  • Please discuss the new idea amongst yourselves.
  • The vase sat on a shelf amongst a variety of other things.
  • She heard a wild wind rushing amongst.
  • Adam is well thought of amongst the pack, and you are sure he will help.
  • The Brits are amongst the best culturally advanced people.  

When to Use Amongst

For a formal or sophisticated style or poetic and dramatic writing, amongst may work better. 

Regarding the usage of each word, amongst is commonly used in British English, while among is used most frequently in American English. 

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Among vs Amongst

Different in Origin, Not in Meaning

While among and amongst differ in their origin and common usage, the two words share the same meaning and can typically be used interchangeably. 

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Vanessa is passionate about written communication, especially after beginning her career as a middle school English teacher. She’s an experienced content marketer as well. Vanessa loves to analyze, compare, and contrast, which is why she writes for ContrastHub. Besides writing, Vanessa is a wife, mom, entrepreneur, spicy food enthusiast, comedy nerd and lifelong learner.

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