meaning - What's the difference between "mistrust" and "distrust"?

  • Urbycoz

    Are mistrust and distrust synonyms?

    And if so, how have two such similar words coexist for so long? Google N-grams suggests the two words have coexisted since the 1700's.

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  • Answers
  • Daniel

    The Grammarist has a discussion on these words:

    Distrust and mistrust are roughly the same. Both mean (1) lack of trust or (2) to regard without trust. But distrust is often based on experience or reliable information, while mistrust is often a general sense of unease toward someone or something. For example, you might distrust the advice of someone who has given you bad tips in the past, and you might mistrust advice from a stranger.


    [However,] mistrust is most often used as simply a variant of distrust.

    That sums up my thoughts pretty well. I like the distinction, but often people don't recognize it.

  • Pat P

    I think distrust has evolved to become the active-voice form of mistrust.

    Consider the following sentences:

    I distrust our gardener. -vs- I mistrust our gardener.
    --the first form sounds more correct.

    Hate and mistrust are the children of blindness. -vs- Hate and distrust are the children of blindness. --again, the first form sounds more correct in the current era.

  • RegDwigнt

    Distrust can be used as a noun and a verb. Mistrust, however, is purely a verb.

  • Related Question

    meaning - Differences between "price point" and "price"
  • fortunate1

    Apart from its use among the bean-counters who talk about maximising company profits, I can't understand why price point has spread so widely in popular American parlance. As far as I can tell, the term is exactly synonymous with price; do people use it the way they do the word 'monies' — to sound clever on the cheap — or is there actually a difference between the two terms?

  • Related Answers
  • chaos

    It basically signifies that one is discussing price specifically in terms of how it relates to the demand curve.

    If I had to guess, I'd say its gratuitous use probably started with conversations between corporate executives and accountants where the term was being used precisely, moving from there to other executives who were at the meeting, didn't understand the term but thought it sounded good and so tried to imitate the people who knew what they were talking about, gradually spreading out into the culture from there. So, yeah, fundamentally people imitating each other to try to sound clever.

  • kiamlaluno

    Price point means a point on a scale of possible prices at which something might be marketed; its meaning is different from the meaning of price, which is (principally, but not only) the amount of money expected, required, or given in payment for something.

    People can use a phrase used in a specific context and give it a different, or a wider usage. The reasons people would "adopt" a phrase giving it a different meaning, or would use a phrase in contexts different from the original one can be many, and include imitation.

    The phrase price point doesn't seem so widely spread. Looking at the Corpus of Contemporary American, I get the following data (the chart reports the frequency per million).

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    The chart shows how many times the phrase price point is used. As comparision, this chart reports the frequency of phrases where the word price is not followed by point (which includes also the case where the word price is followed by a punctuation mark).

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  • The English Chicken

    Price point refers to a hypothetical, potential price.

    We expect to sell 100 loaves of bread at the $2 price point.

    Price is used to refer to an actual price.

    The price for a loaf of bread is $2.

  • IBanker

    There is no difference. For any use of "price point", one can substitute the word "price" as a synonym. The widespread use of the term price point reflects the insidious encroachment of corp-speak and jargon into everyday parlance.

  • cas

    The common (i.e. outside of the narrow economic contexts where it has a specific and well-known meaning) usage of the phrase is a form of mental-gymnastics or double-think that allows the speaker to delude themselves that they're not talking about anything as vulgar and direct as an actual price.