How can I difference between the meaning in the following words?
- Audience it's noun
- Audible it's adjective
- Audition it's also noun
- Auditory it's also adjective

So, my question is we have two adjectives and nouns of the same free word. What is the difference between them in the meaning and how can I use them? Thanks for your responding

  • 2
    Although they have the same root, they are four different words. It would be useful to understand how the four different endings produce these four different meanings, but you can get the different meanings just from a dictionary. Feb 6, 2015 at 19:28
  • It helps us to give you a better answer if we understand what research you might have already done to find the answer. There is some good advice in the help center on the How do I ask a good question? page.
    – ColleenV
    Feb 6, 2015 at 19:39
  • In American football, an "audible" is also a noun. It is usually a play called (out loud) by the quarterback at the line of scrimmage.
    – Jasper
    Feb 6, 2015 at 19:42
  • I cannot say it is a rule but I can say that if there is a noun then one of them refers to people, the other one refers to things or situation.
    – Mrt
    Feb 6, 2015 at 19:43
  • @Murat -- "Audience" has two common meanings. The most common refers to the people watching and/or listening to a performance. The other refers to a situation in which a monarch (or other noble) listens to a petition.
    – Jasper
    Feb 6, 2015 at 19:46

2 Answers 2


Look them up in a dictionary. You can guess what a word might mean if you recognize its root and part of speech, but that would just be a guess.

It would be nice if there were some simple rules that you could say, "any word ending with -or means the person doing the thing", like "auditor" = "a person who audits", "creator" = "a person who creates", etc. But English isn't that simple, and I'd guess most other languages aren't either. A "janitor" is not a person who "janits", nor is a "boar" a person who "boes". Etc.


All of these come from the same root Latin word "audīre", meaning to hear, but they have different meanings.

Audition - an event where one shows off a skill or technique in order to get a job or win a prize. (It may have at one time been exclusively used to refer to an event where one shows off singing - but you can use it to refer to non-singing events).

Audible - able to be heard.

Audience - group of people attending an event, typically to watch it and not directly participate in it. It can also less commonly mean an event where a royal figure is taking time to meet with someone ("audience with the king", etc.).

Auditory - having to do with the sense of hearing.

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