Dual or Duel?

The Quick Answer
What is the difference between dual and duel?

Dual means duo or double.
  • He has dual standards.
Duel denotes a combat arranged by two people or groups.
  • I challenge you to a duel.

Dual and Duel

The words dual and duel sound quite similar, but their meanings are very different.


The adjective dual means double or composed of two parts.

  • After I marry, I will retain dual nationality.
  • I live a dual life. On the red carpet, it's complete glam. But at home, I'm a jeans and T-shirt kind of girl. (Ashley Greene)


The noun duel is a prearranged combat between two people or groups. The word duel can also be used as a verb.

  • Her father was injured in a duel.
  • They will duel at sundown.
  • (This is an example of duel being used as a verb)
You will also see duel being used figuratively. For example:
  • The study of beauty is a duel in which the artist cries with terror before being defeated. (Charles Baudelaire)

See Also

adverse or averse? affect or effect? appraise or apprise? avenge or revenge? bare or bear? complement or compliment? dependant or dependent? discreet or discrete? disinterested or uninterested? e.g. or i.e.? envy or jealousy? imply or infer? its or it's? jewelry and jewellery material or materiel? poisonous or venomous? practice or practise? principal or principle? tenant or tenet? who's or whose?
What are nouns? List of easily confused words