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JAR vs. WAR: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Published on February 20, 2024
JAR (Java ARchive) files package Java classes into a single file for distribution, while WAR (Web Application aRchive) files are specifically for web applications, containing JSPs, servlets, and supporting files.
JAR vs. WAR

Key Differences

JAR files are used in Java to package Java classes, metadata, and resources into a single file, making it easier to distribute and use Java applications. WAR files are a specialized type of JAR used specifically for web applications, containing web components like servlets and JSPs along with supporting files like images and XML files.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 20, 2024
JAR files are versatile and can be used for any Java application, including desktop applications, libraries, and utilities. WAR files, however, are exclusively used for deploying web applications on Java EE (Enterprise Edition) servers.
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While JAR files contain Java classes and a manifest file, WAR files have a specific structure, with a WEB-INF directory containing the web application's deployment descriptor and library JAR files, and a classes directory for compiled Java classes.
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JAR files are deployed in a variety of Java environments, from standalone Java Virtual Machines to embedded systems. WAR files are deployed on web servers and application servers like Apache Tomcat or JBoss, which interpret and run the web application.
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JAR files are fundamental to Java programming for packaging code and resources, whereas WAR files are tailored for web application development, providing a standardized way to bundle and deploy web-based applications.
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Comparison Chart

Usage

General Java applications
Web applications
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Environment

Java platforms (SE, ME)
Java EE servers
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Structure

Contains Java classes, resources, manifest file
WEB-INF directory, servlets, JSPs, XML, classes
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Deployment

Various Java environments
Specifically on web servers
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Primary Function

Packaging Java code and resources
Deploying web applications
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JAR and WAR Definitions

JAR

Package Classes
He created a JAR to package his Java classes.
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WAR

Web Infrastructure
The WAR contained all the web application’s resources.
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Jan 17, 2024

JAR

Executable Archive
They ran the application directly from the JAR.
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WAR

A state of open, armed, often prolonged conflict carried on between nations, states, or parties.
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JAR

Library Container
The JAR contained all the necessary libraries.
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WAR

The period of such conflict.
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JAR

A cylindrical glass or earthenware vessel with a wide mouth and usually no handles.
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WAR

The techniques and procedures of war; military science.
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JAR

The amount that a jar can hold.
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WAR

A condition of active antagonism or contention
A war of words.
A price war.
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JAR

Chiefly British A glass of beer.
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WAR

A concerted effort or campaign to combat or put an end to something considered injurious
The war against acid rain.
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JAR

A jolt; a shock.
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WAR

To wage or carry on warfare.
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JAR

To put into a jar.
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WAR

To be in a state of hostility or rivalry; contend.
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JAR

To cause shaking or vibrations
The ride over the old road was jarring.
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WAR

(uncountable) Organized, large-scale, armed conflict between countries or between national, ethnic, or other sizeable groups, usually but not always involving active engagement of military forces.
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JAR

To shake or vibrate from an impact or impacts
"The gallery jarred with a quick, heavy tramp" (Robert Louis Stevenson).
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WAR

(countable) A particular conflict of this kind.
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JAR

To be disturbing or irritating; grate
The incessant talking jarred on my nerves.
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Jan 17, 2024

WAR

Protracted armed conflict against irregular forces, particularly groups considered terrorists.
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JAR

To be out of harmony; clash or conflict
The curtains jar with the rest of the room.
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WAR

Protracted conflict, particularly
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JAR

To cause to shake or vibrate from impact
The ride on the donkey jarred my bones.
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WAR

Campaigns against various social problems.
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JAR

To startle or unsettle; shock
The alarm jarred him out of sleep.
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WAR

(business) A protracted instance of fierce competition in trade.
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JAR

(originally) An earthenware container, either with two or no handles, for holding oil, water, wine, etc., or used for burial.
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WAR

(crime) A prolonged conflict between two groups of organized criminals, usually over organizational or territorial control.
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JAR

A small, approximately cylindrical container, normally made of clay or glass, for holding fruit, preserves, etc., or for ornamental purposes.
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WAR

(Internet) An argument between two or more people with opposing opinions on a topic or issue.
Flame war... edit war...
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JAR

A jar and its contents; as much as fills such a container; a jarful.
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WAR

An assembly of weapons; instruments of war.
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JAR

A pint glass
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WAR

(obsolete) Armed forces.
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JAR

A glass of beer or cider, served by the pint.
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WAR

Any of a family of card games where all cards are dealt at the beginning of play and players attempt to capture them all, typically involving no skill and only serving to kill time.
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JAR

(countable) A clashing or discordant set of sounds, particularly with a quivering or vibrating quality.
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WAR

(intransitive) To engage in conflict (may be followed by "with" to specify the foe).
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JAR

A quivering or vibrating movement or sensation resulting from something being shaken or struck.
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WAR

(transitive) To carry on, as a contest; to wage.
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JAR

A sense of alarm or dismay.
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WAR

Ware; aware.
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JAR

(countable) The effect of something contradictory or discordant; a clash.
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WAR

A contest between nations or states, carried on by force, whether for defence, for revenging insults and redressing wrongs, for the extension of commerce, for the acquisition of territory, for obtaining and establishing the superiority and dominion of one over the other, or for any other purpose; armed conflict of sovereign powers; declared and open hostilities.
Men will ever distinguish war from mere bloodshed.
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JAR

A disagreement, a dispute, a quarrel; (uncountable) contention, discord; quarrelling.
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WAR

A condition of belligerency to be maintained by physical force. In this sense, levying war against the sovereign authority is treason.
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JAR

(transitive) To preserve (food) in a jar.
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WAR

Instruments of war.
His complement of stores, and total war.
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JAR

(transitive) To knock, shake, or strike sharply, especially causing a quivering or vibrating movement.
He hit it with a hammer, hoping he could jar it loose.
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Jan 17, 2024

WAR

Forces; army.
On their embattled ranks the waves return,And overwhelm their war.
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JAR

(transitive) To harm or injure by such action.
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WAR

The profession of arms; the art of war.
Thou art but a youth, and he is a man of war from his youth.
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Jan 17, 2024

JAR

To shock or surprise.
I think the accident jarred him, as he hasn’t got back in a car since.
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WAR

A state of opposition or contest; an act of opposition; an inimical contest, act, or action; enmity; hostility.
The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart.
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JAR

To act in disagreement or opposition, to clash, to be at odds with; to interfere; to dispute, to quarrel.
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WAR

To make war; to invade or attack a state or nation with force of arms; to carry on hostilities; to be in a state by violence.
Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up toward Jerusalem to war against it.
Why should I war without the walls of Troy?
Our countrymen were warring on that day!
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Jan 17, 2024

JAR

(ambitransitive) To (cause something to) give forth a rudely tremulous or quivering sound; to (cause something to) sound discordantly or harshly.
The clashing notes jarred on my ears.
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Jan 17, 2024

WAR

To contend; to strive violently; to fight.
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JAR

(intransitive) To quiver or vibrate due to being shaken or struck.
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WAR

To make war upon; to fight.
To war the Scot, and borders to defend.
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JAR

Of the appearance, form, style, etc., of people and things: to look strangely different; to stand out awkwardly from its surroundings; to be incongruent.
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WAR

To carry on, as a contest; to wage.
That thou . . . mightest war a good warfare.
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JAR

A turn.
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WAR

The waging of armed conflict against an enemy;
Thousands of people were killed in the war
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JAR

A deep, broad-mouthed vessel of earthenware or glass, for holding fruit, preserves, etc., or for ornamental purposes; as, a jar of honey; a rose jar.
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WAR

A legal state created by a declaration of war and ended by official declaration during which the international rules of war apply;
War was declared in November but actual fighting did not begin until the following spring
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JAR

The measure of what is contained in a jar; as, a jar of oil; a jar of preserves.
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WAR

An active struggle between competing entities;
A price war
A war of wits
Diplomatic warfare
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JAR

A rattling, tremulous vibration or shock; a shake; a harsh sound; a discord; as, the jar of a train; the jar of harsh sounds.
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WAR

A concerted campaign to end something that is injurious;
The war on poverty
The war against crime
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JAR

Clash of interest or opinions; collision; discord; debate; slight disagreement.
And yet his peace is but continual jar.
Cease, cease these jars, and rest your minds in peace.
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WAR

Make or wage war
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JAR

A regular vibration, as of a pendulum.
I love thee not a jar of the clock.
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WAR

Web Application Package
The website was deployed using a WAR file.
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JAR

In deep well boring, a device resembling two long chain links, for connecting a percussion drill to the rod or rope which works it, so that the drill is driven down by impact and is jerked loose when jammed.
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WAR

Servlet and JSP Container
Their WAR included several servlets and JSPs.
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JAR

To give forth a rudely quivering or tremulous sound; to sound harshly or discordantly; as, the notes jarred on my ears.
When such strings jar, what hope of harmony ?
A string may jar in the best master's hand.
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Jan 17, 2024

WAR

Deployment Unit
The WAR file was uploaded to the server for deployment.
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JAR

To act in opposition or disagreement; to clash; to interfere; to quarrel; to dispute.
When those renowned noble peers GreeceThrough stubborn pride among themselves did jar.
For orders and degreesJar not with liberty, but well consist.
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WAR

Java EE Standard
They developed the WAR according to Java EE specifications.
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JAR

To cause a short, tremulous motion of, to cause to tremble, as by a sudden shock or blow; to shake; to shock; as, to jar the earth; to jar one's faith.
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Jan 17, 2024

JAR

To tick; to beat; to mark or tell off.
My thoughts are minutes, and with sighs they jarTheir watches on unto mine eyes.
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Jan 17, 2024

JAR

A vessel (usually cylindrical) with a wide mouth and without handles
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Jan 17, 2024

JAR

The quantity contained in a jar;
He drank a jar of beer
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Jan 17, 2024

JAR

A sudden impact;
The door closed with a jolt
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JAR

Be incompatible; be or come into conflict;
These colors clash
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JAR

Move or cause to move with a sudden jerky motion
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JAR

Shock physically;
Georgia was shaken up in the Tech game
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JAR

Affect in a disagreeable way;
This play jarred the audience
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Jan 17, 2024

JAR

Place in a cylindrical vessel;
Jar the jam
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JAR

Java Archive
The software was distributed as a JAR file.
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JAR

Distribution Format
A JAR file simplifies the distribution of Java applications.
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

Can JAR files be executable?

Yes, JAR files can be made executable with a proper manifest.
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How are JAR files created?

JAR files are created using Java development tools like jar command.
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Feb 20, 2024

Is a WAR file used for desktop applications?

No, WAR files are specifically for web applications.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 20, 2024

What is a JAR file in Java?

A JAR file packages Java classes and resources into a single archive.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 20, 2024

What does a WAR file contain?

A WAR file contains web components like servlets, JSPs, and support files.
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Feb 20, 2024

How do you run a JAR file?

A JAR file can be run using the java -jar command.
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Feb 20, 2024

Can WAR files be created manually?

Yes, though it's usually done through development tools for accuracy.
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Feb 20, 2024

What server software deploys WAR files?

Web servers like Apache Tomcat deploy WAR files.
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Feb 20, 2024

Are WAR files only for Java EE applications?

Yes, WAR files are designed for Java EE web applications.
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Feb 20, 2024

Are JAR files platform-independent?

Yes, JAR files are platform-independent as long as Java is available.
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Feb 20, 2024

Can a JAR file contain images and sound files?

Yes, JAR files can include any type of resource files.
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Feb 20, 2024

What is the main advantage of using a JAR file?

JAR files simplify the distribution and management of Java applications.
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Feb 20, 2024

Is it possible to encrypt a JAR file?

Yes, but it requires additional tools and configurations.
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Feb 20, 2024

Do WAR files include a manifest file?

Yes, WAR files typically include a manifest file in the WEB-INF directory.
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Feb 20, 2024

How do WAR files handle database connectivity?

WAR files use Java EE standards for database connectivity.
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Feb 20, 2024

Can you update a JAR file without recompiling the whole application?

Yes, individual classes or resources in a JAR can be updated.
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Feb 20, 2024

Can a WAR file contain third-party libraries?

Yes, WAR files can include third-party libraries in the lib directory.
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Feb 20, 2024

What is the typical structure of a WAR file?

A WAR file has a WEB-INF directory, servlets, JSPs, and resource files.
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Feb 20, 2024

Can JAR files be used in mobile applications?

Yes, JAR files can be used in Java-based mobile applications.
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Feb 20, 2024

What is the role of a servlet in a WAR file?

Servlets in WAR files handle requests and responses on web servers.
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Feb 20, 2024

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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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The Oscar is an award for cinematic achievements, while the Emmy recognizes excellence in television.
Catapult vs. TrebuchetCatapult vs. Trebuchet
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
January 4, 2024
A catapult is a ballistic device using tension or torsion to launch projectiles, while a trebuchet is a type of catapult using a counterweight for greater force and distance.
Special Education vs. Inclusive EducationSpecial Education vs. Inclusive Education
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 17, 2024
Special Education is tailored instruction for students with disabilities, while Inclusive Education integrates all students, including those with disabilities, into general education settings.
Batch Fermentation vs. Continuous FermentationBatch Fermentation vs. Continuous Fermentation
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 10, 2024
Batch Fermentation is a finite process where nutrients are added at the start and products are harvested at the end, whereas Continuous Fermentation involves a steady input of nutrients and continuous product harvest.
Term vs. SemesterTerm vs. Semester
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
Term is a general period for any division of the academic year, while Semester specifically refers to half of an academic year.
Compression Wood vs. Tension WoodCompression Wood vs. Tension Wood
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
Compression Wood is a denser, abnormal growth in softwood trees under mechanical stress, whereas Tension Wood is a less dense, fibrous growth in hardwoods under similar stress.
Mother vs. GrandmotherMother vs. Grandmother
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 17, 2024
A mother is a woman who has given birth to or raised a child, while a grandmother is the mother of a person's parent.

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