Difference Between Consistent and Constant

Main Difference – Consistent vs  Constant

Consistent and constant are two words that are very similar and they are often used interchangeably because of this similarity. However, there is a difference between consistent and constant based on their meaning and usage. Constant refers to something that continues to happen and remains unchanging or faithful. Consistent refers to something that continues to happen, continues to behave or act in the same manner or continues to have the same quality. This is the main difference between consistent and constant. Although these meanings appear to overlap, there is a marked difference between them in usage.

This article covers,

1. Meaning and Usage of the word Consistent 

2. Meaning and Usage of the word Constant

3. Difference Between Consistent and Constant – Comparison of Meaning and Usage 

Difference Between Consistent and Constant- infographic

Consistent – Meaning and Usage

Consistent is an adjective that indicates steadiness, stability, and reliability. The meanings of this adjective can have slightly different meanings. Some of these meanings include:

Always acting or behaving in the same way

The parents should be firm and consistent in their decisions.

The company should be more consistent in handling customer complaints.

Unchanging in nature, standard, or effect over time

He was the most consistent player in the team.

The consistent pain in the arm worried him.

Not containing any logical contradictions

None of the books contain a consistent explanation of this theory.

This puzzle can be solved by applying a consistent set of logics.

Main Difference -  Consistent vs  Constant

Consistent pain in the head can be a symptom of a serious disease.

Constant – Meaning and Usage

Constant is an adjective that mainly refers to something occurs continuously over a period of time. However, constant can have several meanings depending on its usage.

Happening all the time or very often over a period of time

His constant headaches were a sign of a more serious illness.

Babies need constant attention.

Remaining the same over a period of time

He kept the speed constant.

The prices have remained constant throughout the year.

Unchangingly faithful and dependable (person)

Tom and Jerry remained constant friends throughout their lives.

She said a tearful goodbye to her constant friend and companion – Mrs. Norris.

Difference Between Consistent and Constant

He maintained a constant speed.

Difference Between Consistent and Constant

Consistent vs Constant in Usage

Although consistent and constant have similar meanings, there is a difference between them based on their usage. For example, look at the two phrases constant pain and consistent pain.

What does Constant pain imply? – It implies that pain occurs all the time or recurringly.

What does Consistent pain imply? – It implies that the intensity of the pain does not change.

The difference between consistent and constant in this example is that constant refers to something that does not stop whereas consistency refers to something that does not vary. Although consistent and constant have other meanings, these are their most commonly used meanings.

Definition

Consistent refers to something that continues to happen, continues to behave or act in the same manner or continues to have the same quality.

Constant refers to something that continues to happen and remains unchanging or faithful.

In General Usage

Consistent refers to something that does not vary.

Constant refers to something that does not stop.

Image Courtesy:

“Migraine” By Sasha Wolff from Grand Rapids – Can’t Concentrate: 14/365, (CC BY 2.0) via Commons Wikimedia

“Ford Mondeo MK3 ST220 – Speedometer” By Brian Snelson from Hockley, Essex, England – Speedometer (CC BY 2.0) via Commons Wikimedia

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.