I have these two sentences

Despite certain broad cultural unity developed over the last century, there was no cultural uniformity.

Despite the fact that certain wide cultural unity had developed over centuries, there was no cultural uniformity.

In both of these sentences, are both broad and wide conveying different meanings or do they convey the same meaning, or the only essential difference between these two sentences is that of structure.

I tried searching it at collins, but I didn't get the difference so I am asking here.

P.S: I am new to this forum, so please indicate if the above question is inappropriate for the forum , if so , please guide me to the relevant one

1 Answer 1


The first sentence is idiomatic; the second is not.

Although broad and wide have the same general meaning and are sometimes interchangeable, at others they are not, simply because people don't talk that way.

Wide tends to be used more of physical spaces - roads, rivers, pavements, paths and the like. It is used in some set phrases. We talk about eyes wide open, never eyes broad open.

Broad tends to be used more figuratively - in broad terms, broadly speaking, broad outlook, broad views.

Sometimes you can use either - a broad/wide range/choice.

These are not rules, just guidelines. The only way to be sure is from experience of their use.


  • So by the logic of the argument you are making ,can I assume that Ist statement is the only correct one since wide is fit for the figurative statement we are trying to make in both statements , if so can we just replace wide with broad in second statement and it will work ?
    – harsh garg
    Sep 10, 2021 at 7:47
  • Also thanks for the reply, I still can't upvote your answer because of my reputation.
    – harsh garg
    Sep 10, 2021 at 8:31
  • The second sentence is better English provided that you change wide to broad. Sep 10, 2021 at 8:46
  • Thanks, Kate Bunting
    – harsh garg
    Sep 10, 2021 at 9:25

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