Difference Between Dual and Duel

Key Differences Between Dual and Duel

There are a lot of English words that seem like they’re a pair, and one such pair is dual and duel. These are very similar to each other because seemingly, the only difference between them is in the third letter.

However, one vowel changes a lot of things, from the origin to the very meaning of the word; this is why you’re doing it wrong if you’re using them interchangeably.

Here, we’ll explore dual vs duel thoroughly. So, let’s get started!


Dual vs Duel: An Overview

There are multiple differences between dual and dual. In fact, these are completely different things. They are different in grammatical terms, by what they mean, and how they are used. The only similarity between them is how they’re pronounced.

In America, both words are pronounced as “Dool”. According to British pronunciation, they are pronounced as “Joo-ul”.


What is Dual?


Dual is a word that’s used to mean two parts that are similar. For example, a swordsman wielding two swords may be called a dual-wielding swordsman. A person having two purposes behind one action may be thought to be “dual-purpose”.


What is Duel?


Duel is a word that was formerly used to refer to a formally arranged contest or a fight between two individuals or groups. Now, it’s simply used to refer to the conflict between the two.

This word can be used both as a noun and a verb in a sentence. When it’s used as a noun, it refers to the fight between two entities. Then again, it refers to engaging in a conflict when used as a verb.

It must be said that the conflict may or may not be violent.

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Main Differences Between Dual vs Duels

There are multiple differences between dual vs. duels. In fact, the only similarity they share is the pronunciation. Here, in this section, we’ll take a deep dive into their differences.

  • Meaning

The main difference between the two words is their meaning.

Dual refers to two parts. The two parts can either be similar or completely opposite; there’s no specific requirement in this sense.

For example, dual can be used to refer to the personality of a person. In this case, it’s usually implied that the said person has two personalities that are completely different from each other.

Then again, we also see the word being used in the case of processors. For example, we say dual-core. It means that a specific computer processor comes with two cores that are identical to one another. Similarly, a person who is a citizen of two countries is called a “dual citizen”.

On the other hand, a duel is used to mean conflict, be that violent or not. This word was formerly used to refer to a formally arranged contest between two entities. However, such traditions are almost non-existent nowadays, and this word is now used casually to refer to any conflict between the two.


  • Part of Speech

Dual is used as an adjective in a sentence; this means it’s mostly placed before a noun to modify it and to give it a different meaning. For example, using the word “dual” before the word “core” instantly means that there are two cores.

The same goes for the phrase dual swords, dual personalities, and dual citizens. In every case, it means that each of the objects is in two quantities.

On the other hand, the word duel is used as both a noun and a verb. When used as a noun, this word refers to a conflict between two. It refers to engaging in a conflict when used as a verb.


  • Origin

Both words have completely different origins. Firstly, the word Dual comes from the Latin origin Dualis, from Duo, and it dates as early as the 1600s. The root Latin word for dual means two, and the word itself translates to two parts.

In contrast, Duel comes from the Latin word Duellum or Bellum, which meant the word. This word was originally used to refer to a fight to the death between two people.


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Dual vs Duel: The Comparison Table

Parameters of Comparison




Refers to two things

Refers to conflict between two entities

Part of Speech


Both noun and verb


Latin word Dualis

Latin word Duellum or bBellum


Candice is known to have a dual personality.

We’ll duel on the outskirts of the town in the moonlight.


Key Takeaways

  • Dual and Duel share the same pronunciation in both American and British styles.
  • Dual means two parts, whereas Duel means conflict between two parties.
  • They both originate from different Latin words.
  • While Duel can be used both as a noun and a verb, Dual is used as an adjective.



These are the major differences between dual and duels. By reading the dual vs duel article, it’s clear that these are completely different words; the only similarity that they share is the same pronunciation.

So, you can use them easily in speech, but you’ll need to maintain caution when you’re writing them down.

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