aesthetic and esthetic difference

What is the difference between aesthetic and esthetic

At least one of these words sounds familiar. Even if they don’t, pronouncing them leaves a familiar taste in the mouth; and that’s probably because they sound so alike. They even spell the same, except of course, for the fact that one starts with the letter ‘A’ and the other does not.

Similarities aside, what is the Aesthetic and Esthetic difference? Let’s take this lesson on Aesthetic vs Esthetic

So, what are the differences?

Interestingly, you’d be surprised to find out that minus the difference in A’s, Aesthetic and Esthetic  definition are indeed the same. The main difference is that ‘Aesthetic’ is used in British English spelling, and ‘Esthetic’ is used in American English spelling. This is unlike the case with than and then which are different in spelling and meaning, but may sound similar when they are pronounced.

Aesthetic and Esthetic have basically the same meaning, once the context of the sentence in question has been properly established. That is, once you’ve determined the meaning of the word, either spelling can be used.

This same phenomenon occurs in the case of ‘colour’ and ‘color’. In some countries, especially commonwealth and European countries, ‘colour’ is the accepted spelling; whereas in others, mostly the Americas, ‘color’ is used instead.

With regards to meaning, as aforementioned, there is very little difference. As we’ve established before, once the context of the sentence has been established, they mean the same thing.

Let us now define Aesthetic vs Esthetic

Aesthetic refers to a thing that possesses artistic qualities or values, thereby being or looking appealing to our senses; or it is used to describe someone’s idea of what is beautiful. Alternatively, Aesthetics is also a field of philosophy that is related with a sense of beauty, especially appreciation of beauty in nature and art.

Esthetics is a word with exactly the same meaning, being specifically used in the cosmetic industry. It is used to mean something beautiful or something showing appreciation of human beauty.

As an adjective, aesthetic or esthetic mean being concerned with beauty or the appreciation of beauty; giving or designed to give pleasure through beauty. An example(s) of the words in usage is;

“the pictures give great aesthetic pleasure”

“The paintings are such aesthetic objects”

As a noun, the words mean ‘a set of principles underlying the work of a particular artist or artistic movement’.

Activities such as waxing, the shaping of eyebrows, aromatherapy (which is the use of aromatic materials, including essential oils, and other aromatic compounds, to improve the pyschology or physical state of a person, facial treatments and plastic surgery, or any other activities done to improve upon what one has got since birth, are classified under esthetics.

In medical science, aesthetics and esthetics describe the occupation of someone, particularly one specialising in the provision of a wide range of skin care services.

The word Aesthetic or Esthetic is of Greek origins, having been coined from various words late in the 18th century such as ‘aisthētikos’, meaning ‘in relation to perceiving through the senses’, ‘aisthēta’ meaning ‘things that are perceptible’ and from ‘aisthesthai’ which means ‘to perceive’. It’s adoption into English language occured in the early 19th century, after the usage of the word with regards to “being concerned with beauty” coined in German mid 18th century.

In conclusion, there is no real difference between Aesthetic and Esthetic. Many parts of the world have simply changed the spelling of ‘aesthetic’ to esthetic, and so it is regarded as an alternative spelling to the former. In their usage, they both mean the same thing, and it is really just a matter of spelling preference.


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