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ESL forum > Ask for help > Nourishment vs. nutrition    

Nourishment vs. nutrition


Nourishment vs. nutrition

Would you please help me to understand: what is the diffrerence in usage of the words NUTRITION and NOURISHMENT? I consulted a dictionary, the translation into the Russian language is the same...

4 Apr 2010      


Thanks a lot!

4 Apr 2010     

United States

I see "nutrition" as a more clinical word, dealing with the elements in food that keep you alive - protein, minerals, etc., and "nourishment" as the act of feeding (physically or figuratively), with the idea of growth and health.
I realize that my explanation doesn īt separate them very well, but I hope it helps.

4 Apr 2010     


I would say that nutrition and nourishment can be used interchangeably when referring to food itself, that which supports life, health and strength. But that they are not exactly the same. My synonym dictionary (Merriam-Webster īs) says:

"Nutriment and nourishment are both applied to what is needed for healthy growth (as of the body, the mind, or an institution) ... but nourishment in addition suggests, as nutriment does not, the nourishing effect produced."

I would say the same applies to the relation of nutrition and nourishment. This goes with what yanogator said. Nourish can also mean the nuture or rear or simply to promote the growth of something. Nourishment can be readily applied to abstract things (e.g. nourishment for our hope) whereas nutrition needs to be used figuratively in order to apply it to abstract things and may sound strange with abstract ideas since things like hope, love, the economy don īt really need food but they may require nurturing or fueling. 

4 Apr 2010