Are sofa and divan are just simple synonym and used equally in the UK and USA or one of these words more common in one of these states?

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    As a Brit, a divan would be a type of bed. A sofa is a settee.
    – Mobeer
    Jun 9, 2017 at 20:21
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    @Mobeer Settee, I've always thought, connotes a slightly smaller piece than a sofa—what USAians might call a loveseat. Jun 9, 2017 at 22:55

2 Answers 2


According to Ngram, sofa is much more common in both British English and American English.

As an American, I imagine that few people (outside of interior decoration professionals and aficionados) would know what a "divan" actually is, but pretty much everyone knows what a "sofa" is.

  • Good ol' Ngram, always has the answers :P
    – Stephen S
    Jun 9, 2017 at 20:04
  • Divan (like davenport) is much less current in the US today than it was a century ago. I can say that without consulting an ngram. I can't speak with confidence about the UK, but my intuition is that divan is as rare there as it is in USAian. Jun 9, 2017 at 20:08
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    @Stephen - But it only tells as much of the story as you ask. Sometimes there is more to the story.
    – J.R.
    Jun 9, 2017 at 20:33
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    @StephenS Better perhaps to say "Good ol' Ngram, always has an answer." Jun 9, 2017 at 20:38
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    @VersatileandAffordable I think couch has become the go-to noun for this piece of furniture across the English-speaking world. Credit Hollywood, TV, and the web. This doesn't mean, though, that native speakers won't know what you mean by sofa (or even divan or davenport.) Jun 9, 2017 at 22:52


is more of an archaic word, not normally used these days or may be used in a more "affected" way


is widely used in the States and also in the UK



couch potato

gets used more in the States than in the UK.


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