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Corn vs. Maize: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Corn and maize are the same plant, a cereal grain, with "corn" commonly used in North American English and "maize" in international contexts.
Corn vs. Maize

Key Differences

Corn, as referred to in North America, is a staple grain known for its yellow kernels, used in various culinary applications. Maize, its international equivalent, shares these characteristics, highlighting the linguistic variation without a difference in the plant itself.
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Nov 15, 2023
In the culinary context, corn often refers to the sweet, yellow variety popular in the United States. Conversely, maize, as used globally, encompasses a broader range of types, including white, blue, and red varieties, reflecting its diverse uses and cultural significance.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 15, 2023
The term corn in the U.S. is specific to this particular grain, while in other English-speaking countries, corn can refer to the predominant cereal crop of the region, like wheat or oats, differing from maize which specifically denotes the Zea mays species.
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Historically, corn has been a foundational crop in North America, deeply embedded in the cuisine and agriculture. Similarly, maize holds immense historical and cultural value in regions like Mexico and Central America, where it originated and remains a dietary staple.
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The industrial and commercial uses of corn in North America, ranging from corn syrup to biofuel, reflect its economic importance. In contrast, maize in global contexts is not only a food source but also a cultural symbol, embodying traditions and agricultural practices.
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Comparison Chart

Terminology

Predominantly used in North America.
Internationally recognized term.
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Varieties

Often refers to the sweet, yellow type.
Includes white, blue, red, and other varieties.
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Culinary Use

Common in sweet dishes and snacks in the U.S.
Used in a variety of global cuisines, often in traditional dishes.
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Cultural Significance

Central to North American agriculture and cuisine.
Deep historical and cultural roots, especially in Central and South America.
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Industrial Uses

Widely used in products like corn syrup and biofuel.
Less prominent in industrial applications, more focused on food and cultural practices.
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Corn and Maize Definitions

Corn

A cereal grain with a sweet flavor, primarily yellow.
Corn on the cob is a popular barbecue dish.
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Maize

A tall annual cereal grass bearing kernels on large ears.
Maize is cultivated extensively in Mexico.
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Corn

In broader terms, it refers to the leading cereal crop of a region.
In England, corn often means wheat.
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Maize

Used to refer to corn products in international trade.
Maize exports have increased this year.
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Corn

Used metaphorically to represent something basic or fundamental.
That idea is the corn of his philosophy.
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Maize

Symbolic of agricultural practices in indigenous cultures.
Maize plays a central role in their rituals.
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Corn

Colloquially, it can mean something trite or overly sentimental.
His speech was full of corn.
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Maize

The plant Zea mays, a staple food in many countries.
Maize fields stretch for miles in this region.
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Corn

Any of numerous cultivated forms of a widely grown, usually tall annual cereal grass (Zea mays) bearing grains or kernels on large ears.
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Oct 19, 2023

Maize

Represents diversity in its different colored varieties.
The maize variety includes white, yellow, and blue kernels.
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Corn

The grains or kernels of this plant, used as food for humans and livestock or for the extraction of an edible oil or starch. Also called Indian corn, maize.
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Maize

See corn1.
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Corn

An ear of this plant.
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Maize

A light yellow to moderate orange yellow.
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Corn

Chiefly British Any of various cereal plants or grains, especially the principal crop cultivated in a particular region, such as wheat in England or oats in Scotland.
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Maize

Corn; a type of grain of the species Zea mays.
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Corn

A single grain of a cereal plant.
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Maize

A large species of American grass of the genus Zea (Zea Mays), widely cultivated as a forage and food plant; Indian corn, commonly called corn. Also, its seed, growing on cobs, and used as food for men and animals.
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Corn

A seed or fruit of various other plants, such as a peppercorn.
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Maize

Tall annual cereal grass bearing kernels on large ears: widely cultivated in America in many varieties; the principal cereal in Mexico and Central and South America since pre-Columbian times
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Corn

Corn snow.
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Maize

A strong yellow color
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Corn

(Informal) Corn whiskey.
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Corn

(Slang) Something considered trite, dated, melodramatic, or unduly sentimental.
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Corn

A horny thickening of the skin, usually on or near a toe, resulting from pressure or friction. Also called clavus.
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Corn

To cause to form hard particles; granulate.
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Corn

To season and preserve with granulated salt.
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Corn

To preserve (beef, for example) in brine.
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Corn

To feed (animals) with corn or grain.
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Corn

To form hard particles; become grainy
"After the snow melts all day, it corns up at night for fine conditions" (Hatfield MA Valley Advocate).
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Oct 19, 2023

Corn

Any cereal plant (or its grain) that is the main crop or staple of a country or region.
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Corn

Maize, a grain crop of the species Zea mays.
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Corn

A grain or seed, especially of a cereal crop.
He paid her the nominal fee of two corns of barley.
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Corn

A small, hard particle.
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Corn

(uncountable) A type of granular snow formed by repeated melting and refreezing, often in mountain spring conditions.
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Corn

Bullets, ammunition, charge and discharge of firearms
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Corn

Money.
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Corn

A type of callus, usually on the feet or hands.
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Corn

(countable) inflammatory disease of horse hoof, at the caudal part of the sole.
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Corn

(countable) skin hyperplasia with underlying fibroma between both digits of cattle.
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Corn

Something (e.g. acting, humour, music, or writing) which is deemed old-fashioned or intended to induce emotion.
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Corn

To granulate; to form a substance into grains
To corn gunpowder
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Corn

To preserve using coarse salt, e.g. corned beef
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Corn

To provide with corn (typically maize; or, in Scotland, oats) for feed
Corn the horses.
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Corn

To render intoxicated
Ale strong enough to corn one
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Corn

To shoot up with bullets as by a shotgun (corn).
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Corn

A thickening of the epidermis at some point, esp. on the toes, by friction or pressure. It is usually painful and troublesome.
Welcome, gentlemen! Ladies that have their toesUnplagued with corns, will have a bout with you.
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Corn

A single seed of certain plants, as wheat, rye, barley, and maize; a grain.
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Corn

The various farinaceous grains of the cereal grasses used for food, as wheat, rye, barley, maize, oats.
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Corn

A tall cereal plant (Zea mays) bearing its seeds as large kernels in multiple rows on the surface of a hard cylindrical ear, the core of which (the cob) is not edible; - also called Indian corn and, in technical literature, maize. There are several kinds; as, yellow corn, which grows chiefly in the Northern States, and is yellow when ripe; white corn or southern corn, which grows to a great height, and has long white kernels; sweet corn, comprising a number of sweet and tender varieties, grown chiefly at the North, some of which have kernels that wrinkle when ripe and dry; pop corn, any small variety, used for popping. Corn seeds may be cooked while on the ear and eaten directly, or may be stripped from the ear and cooked subsequently. The term Indian corn is often used to refer to a primitive type of corn having kernels of varied color borne on the same cob; it is used for decoration, especially in the fall.
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Corn

The plants which produce corn, when growing in the field; the stalks and ears, or the stalks, ears, and seeds, after reaping and before thrashing.
In one night, ere glimpse of morn,His shadowy flail had thrashed the corn.
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Corn

A small, hard particle; a grain.
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Corn

To preserve and season with salt in grains; to sprinkle with salt; to cure by salting; now, specifically, to salt slightly in brine or otherwise; as, to corn beef; to corn a tongue.
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Corn

To form into small grains; to granulate; as, to corn gunpowder.
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Corn

To feed with corn or (in Sctland) oats; as, to corn horses.
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Corn

To render intoxicated; as, ale strong enough to corn one.
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Corn

Tall annual cereal grass bearing kernels on large ears: widely cultivated in America in many varieties; the principal cereal in Mexico and Central and South America since pre-Columbian times
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Corn

The dried grains or kernels or corn used as animal feed or ground for meal
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Corn

Ears of corn grown for human food
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Corn

A hard thickening of the skin (especially on the top or sides of the toes) caused by the pressure of ill-fitting shoes
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Corn

Annual or biennial grass having erect flower spikes and light brown grains
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Oct 19, 2023

Corn

Whiskey distilled from a mash of not less than 80 percent corn
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Corn

Something sentimental or trite;
That movie was pure corn
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Corn

Feed (cattle) with corn
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Corn

Preserve with salt;
Corned beef
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Corn

In old English, it referred to granular particles.
The corn of salt enhances the dish's flavor.
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

Where did maize originate?

Maize originated in Central and South America and is a staple in many indigenous cultures.
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Nov 15, 2023

What does maize refer to?

Maize is the international term for the same grain, known for its various uses and types.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 15, 2023

Are corn and maize the same?

Yes, they refer to the same plant but are used in different linguistic contexts.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 15, 2023

Is corn only yellow?

While yellow corn is common in North America, corn (maize) can also be white, blue, or red.
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How is maize important culturally?

Maize is integral to many cultures, especially in Central and South America, for its historical and traditional value.
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Can maize be used in gluten-free diets?

Absolutely, maize is a popular gluten-free option in many cuisines.
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What is corn?

Corn is a cereal grain, primarily known in North America, often yellow and sweet.
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Is corn a vegetable or a grain?

Corn is a cereal grain, but when it's harvested young, it's eaten like a vegetable.
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What's the difference in growing maize?

There's no difference; maize and corn are grown the same way.
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What are the uses of corn?

Corn is used in cooking, as well as for making corn syrup, biofuel, and other products.
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Can maize be used for industrial purposes?

Yes, maize is used in various industries, though it's more renowned for its culinary and cultural significance.
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Is corn gluten-free?

Yes, corn is naturally gluten-free, making it suitable for those with gluten intolerance.
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What dishes are made with corn?

Corn is used in dishes like cornbread, polenta, and tortillas.
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Are there traditional dishes made with maize?

Yes, traditional dishes like tamales, arepas, and pozole use maize.
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What's the nutritional value of corn?

Corn is high in carbohydrates, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals.
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How is corn grown?

Corn is grown in rows in fields and requires ample sunlight and water.
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How is corn harvested?

Corn is harvested by machines or by hand when the kernels are at peak maturity.
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Is maize part of a balanced diet?

Yes, maize is a nutritious grain that can be part of a healthy diet.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 15, 2023

Does maize have different varieties?

Yes, maize comes in various types, including sweet, pop, and flour corn.
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Shumaila Saeed
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Can corn be eaten raw?

Yes, sweet corn can be eaten raw, though it's usually cooked.
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Nov 15, 2023

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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