I have seen on TV the expression about album sales and the presenter used an expression "top-selling" album, referring to one of the albums. Then I remembered there is also another word in English to mean the same thing, which is "best-selling". They both seem to mean the same thing?

Any difference between the two?


2 Answers 2


Technically, best means nothing is better, whereas top can just mean something like in the upper 10% or beyond a certain threshold.

In reality both of these are marketing terms used for their sound and the exact meaning usually doesn't matter. For example, check out the Wikipedia article on bestseller.


I think ‘Top Selling..’ is.. say an Artist who has sold the most units in a category overall, whereas a ‘Best selling’ is an Artist who has sold a good amount of units in a short or certain period of time. For example, Madonna started out in 1983 and in her first 10 years of her career, has sold roughly 77,000,000 albums Worldwide...which we can label that as ‘Top Selling’ for that time. Whereas Mariah Carey who started out in 1990 sold more than 80,000,000 albums worldwide in her first 5-6 years of her career. This of course is just an example of how I think Top selling and best selling is different. I could be heavily wrong.

  • 1
    Sorry, I think you got it backwards, loosely speaking. :) See the answer by LawrenceC. Also, here's a tip: you can support your answers by using reputable resources, such as dictionaries.
    – Em.
    Nov 18, 2018 at 10:31

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .