Difference Between Praise and Worship

The main difference between praise and worship is that praise means appreciation while worship essentially means to give the highest form of respect and honour.

Both praise and worship are based on the principles of admiration and respect to someone or something. These two words are often used in the religious backgrounds.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is Praise 
– Definition, Examples, Explanation
2. What is Worship
– Definition, Examples, Explanation
4. What is the Difference Between Praise and Worship
– Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms

Qualities, Honor, Praise, Respect, Worship
Difference Between praise and worship - Comparison Summary

What Does Praise Mean

Praise means to express approval or admiration for someone or something. Therefore, we can praise someone for some good thing they have done, or as a thanksgiving. Therefore, praise is closely intertwined with the ideas of thanksgiving and applauding another.

Praise does not require anything from us. It is merely the truthful acknowledgement of the virtuous acts of another. Therefore, we can praise anyone and anything. And, usually, the one being praised can feel encouraged and feel elevated about the action or task for which he got praised.

Difference Between Praise and Worship

Figure 1: Boss praised his employees for the successful completion of the project

Therefore, praise can happen either in writing or by praising someone directly by admiring and approving their achievements. Praising one’s God or the religious leaders highlights the devotee’s feeling of gratitude for them.

What Does Worship Mean

Worship is described in Oxford dictionary as ‘the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity’. Moreover, worship can be defined in religious terms as ‘to prostrate oneself, to bow down, to fall face down, to pay homage and to pay respect’.

Praise can be a part of worship, but worship goes beyond praise. Therefore, worship can also be identified as the highest form of reverence and devotion one could offer to someone who is in a higher rank than them such as the religious deities, religious leaders or one’s parents (in some cultures).

Main Difference - Praise vs Worship

Figure 2: Worshiping ones’ parents

To worship someone means you have understood their worth and you adore, respect and honour them in a way that goes beyond praising. You regard them as worthy of considering as in a position above you. Therefore, worshipping is not easy and cannot be done to anyone or anything. A person needs to have complete faith and devotion of one to worship another.

Difference Between Praise and Worship


Praise means to express warm approval or admiration for someone while worship means to show reverence and adoration for a deity or to someone considered to be in a higher ranking than you.

Degree of Respect

Worship has a higher degree of respect than praise.


Praise is used to convey a feeling of admiration or even a thanksgiving. Therefore, the person praising and the person being praised are rather in a similar position. Worship, on the other hand, is used to show reverence and adoration to someone (usually a deity or even parents) who is considered in a higher rank or position than you.


People tend to use the two words, praise and worship interchangeably. However, they carry different insights. The difference between praise and worship is that praise basically means to applaud while worship means to pay the highest form of respect and honour. Therefore, worshipping cannot be done to anyone at any time but praise, on the other hand, can be done to anyone easily at any time according to the situation.

Image Courtesy:

1. “1979261” (CC0) via Pixabay
2.”Respect Your Parents – Wall Mural in Trincomalee – Sri Lanka” by Adam Jones (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Flickr

About the Author: Upen

Upen, BA (Honours) in Languages and Linguistics, has academic experiences and knowledge on international relations and politics. Her academic interests are English language, European and Oriental Languages, Internal Affairs and International Politics, and Psychology.

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