Some people have this idea that learning new English words is only done by foreigners, small children, and people who are new to the language. But, there are so many words in English, you could probably learn a new one every day, and still not even know half of them.
One such word is “agreeance”. Today, I want to see if it’s an actual word, what it means, and is it just a fancy way of saying “agreement”.
Is “Agreeance” A Proper Word In English?
Some say “agreeance” means the same thing as “agreement”. Others say that there is a subtle difference between the two. Agreeance is when two parties share a view. Agreement is when one party says something that another agrees with.
Agreeance Etymology- Where Does That Word Come From?
The word “Agreeance” comes from the Old French “Agreance”. This comes from the word “agreer”, which is a verb that means “to accept”.
“agreer” the verb should not be confused with “agreer”- a noun that means someone who agrees.
When you agree with someone, you are accepting what they’re telling you as true. Over time, the word “agreeance” went out of favour, and got replaced by “agreement”.
Perhaps in the future, the word will change yet again. Who can really tell?
Agreeance Vs Agreement: The Difference Explained
Whilst some people would argue that “agreeance” is just the older version of “agreement”, there are others who say that there is a difference.
According to these people, agreeance is when two parties share a view.
For example, if I think that chocolate is the best kind of ice cream, and someone who lives 5000 miles away happens to have that same view, we would be in agreeance. It does not matter if the two of us never meet or even communicate.
Agreement on the other hand has to follow a series. For me and him to be in agreement, I would need to say “Chocolate is the best kind of ice cream” and he would need to say “I agree” in reply to me.
4 Examples Of Agreeance
- “The Roman Empire and British Empire are in agreeance about the importance of maintaining order throughout a stable empire”
- “The Prime Minister and my mother are in agreeance that we need to put more money into healthcare”
- “All my old bosses are in agreeance that I am a hard worker
- “Portsmouth and Southampton are in agreeance that they should be willing to let in 300 refugees each”
4 Examples Of Agreement
- “We are in agreement. It looks like the biggest cake in the world was baked in Sweden in 2013”
- “I’m glad we’ve managed to come to an agreement. It’s taken so long for my company to start making money, and I can see it doing very well in the future”
- “My mum and dad came to an agreement. They would never bad mouth each other, and as a result, I was able to have a good relationship with both of them”
- “If you let the planet live, we’ll let you have all the oil in the sea. Do we have an agreement Martian?”
The Difference Between Agreement And Agreeance
And now, to make it clear what the difference is, let’s look at one more example that highlights the difference between “agreeance” and “agreement”.
“The best fruit is apples”
“I agree. I love apples too”
John in England: The best fruit is apples
Sam is Canada: The best fruit is apples
(This only counts as agreeance if John and Sam don’t know each other)
The main difference is that to be in agreement, one person needs to say something for another person to agree with. But to be in agreeance, you just need to hold the same view.
Why Don’t We Use Agreeance?
If “agreement” and “agreeance” have different meanings, why don’t we use “agreeance” anymore? When I typed this up on Word, the word “agreeance” even had a red squiggly line underneath it.
The main reason why is that language does change over time. Words that might have served one purpose once either change their purpose or go out of style.
Some people would say that perhaps in the past “agreeance” and “agreement” meant different things. But today, “agreement” has taken over the role of “agreeance”, which has now gone out of popular usage.
However, the trouble with this idea is that when we say “agreement”, how do we know if someone is agreeing with what someone has said or is just thinking the same as them?
Ment Vs Ance: Two Suffixes With Similar Meanings
Let’s try another way of trying to look at the differences. What do the suffixes mean?
“ment” means as a result of. If I enlarge an image, the result will be enlargement.
“ance” is a quality of. If I accept something, I will have the quality of acceptance.
“Agreement” is the result of agreeing. “Agreeance” is the quality of agreeing.
And this confirms what we’ve already established in this article.
Synonyms For Agreeance And Agreement
- Well, I guess we’re in agreement then.
- Well, I guess we’re in accord then.
- Well, I guess we’re in concurrence then.
- Well, I guess we’re in consensus then.
- Well, I guess we’re in harmony then.
- Well, I guess we’re in accordance then.
- Well, I guess we’re in unity then.
- Well, I guess we’re in unison then.
- Well, I guess we’re in concord then.
- Well, I guess we’re like-minded then.
- Well, I guess we’re in rapport then.
- Well, I guess we’re in sympathy then.
- Well, I guess we’re in assent then.
And that is what “agreeance” means.
From the Old French “agreance” to a word that not many English speakers are familiar with.
What do you think?
Would you say that “agreeance” is just an old fashioned term that has now gone away with the times, and we should just use “agreement” so everybody knows what we’re talking about?
Or do you think that there is a subtle but clear difference between the two words and we should respect this difference to help us understand each other better?
No matter what you think, I hope there can be an agreement between us that English is more complex and nuanced than our English perhaps lead us to believe.
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.