I've looked them up in several dictionaries, but I find them very similar in meaning because both mean to turn something around something else, for example: She wound a scarf around her neck. She wrapped a scarf around her neck.

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    So one meaning of wrap is close to one meaning of wind. Like most words they each have a range of meanings, most of which do not overlap. The primamry meaning of wrap is to enclose something in some sort of sheet of material. The primary meaning of wind is to turn or twist something.
    – Colin Fine
    Jan 16, 2021 at 21:36

2 Answers 2


I suppose native speakers would answer better, but according to Cambridge dictionary, wrap doesn't necessarily mean around. You can cover something with a piece of material in order to "wrap" it.

But wind implies that something turns, so if you "wind" a scarf, you wind it around a neck. You can't just lay down the scarf on the neck and say you've wound it.

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    I would wrap a sheet around something, but wind a string or rope around it. Jan 16, 2021 at 21:46
  • @MichaelHarvey, now I see this slight difference and that my answer isn't good. =( Jan 16, 2021 at 21:57
  • Mind you, the sheet that dead people used to be wrapped in when they were buried, is called a 'winding sheet'. Jan 16, 2021 at 22:00
  • You wrap a scarf, but you wind a strangling rope, around a neck. Jan 16, 2021 at 22:01
  • You wrap a package with or in paper.

  • You can wrap an object with any type of material like paper or cloth or even chocolate. It means to surround the object completely with the material.

  • Wind is different: wind means that a string or steel cable or thread (or anything like that, a filament) is put around and around some object. Winding means has been placed around something round and is circular in motion. Wrapping envelops an object.

  • Thread is wound (wind, wound, wound) on a spool.

  • Spools are have thread or filaments wound around them.

wind and winding is used a lot with images:

  • to wind someone around your finger [get them to do what you want]
  • to wind someone up [BrE, to make them believe something that is not true]
  • roads are said to wind through places.
  • Song: Long and Winding Road

If something like a road winds through a landscape, it is not straight. It has curves in it.

Well, that's the short of it but probably not the long of it. [idiom: the short and long of something]

She wound the scarf around her neck means the neck is like the spool and the scarf is like the thread. For this, the scarf must be long and thin. A short scarf would not work here.

She wrapped the scarf around her neck means she enveloped her neck with the scarf, like a package is wrapped with paper.

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