Ask Difference

Candy vs. Sweet — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on October 27, 2023
Candy refers to confections made with sugar and often flavorings, commonly shaped into small pieces. Sweet broadly describes anything with a sugary taste, including candy.
Candy vs. Sweet — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Candy and Sweet

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Key Differences

Candy is a specific term for confections primarily made from sugar and other sweeteners, often combined with flavorings, colorings, and sometimes fillings. Sweet, on the other hand, is an umbrella term that includes all things tasting sugary, including candy, but also encompassing desserts, sugary drinks, and naturally sweet foods like fruits.
In cultural context, candy is often associated with treats or snacks, commonly found in varieties like chocolate bars, gummy candies, and lollipops. Sweet is used more broadly, describing not just candy but also sweet tastes in various culinary dishes, from desserts to certain savory dishes with a sweet component.
When discussing ingredients, candy is predominantly made with sugar or sugar substitutes, along with additives for texture and flavor. The term sweet can refer to the taste resulting from any sugar source, whether it's refined sugar, natural sugars from fruits, or even sweet-tasting artificial sweeteners.
Health perspectives differ; candy is often viewed critically for its high sugar content and lack of nutritional value. The term sweet, while it can include unhealthy items, also encompasses naturally sweet and potentially healthier options like fruits.
In the culinary world, making candy is often a specialized craft, involving techniques like tempering chocolate or pulling sugar. Preparing sweet dishes or adding sweetness to dishes is a more general culinary skill, ranging from baking desserts to creating sauces or glazes with a sweet element.
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Comparison Chart

Definition

Confections made with sugar and flavorings
Anything with a sugary taste

Examples

Chocolate bars, gummy bears, hard candies
Desserts, sugary drinks, sweet-tasting foods

Primary Ingredient

Sugar or sugar substitutes
Any sugar source

Health Perception

Often viewed as unhealthy
Can be unhealthy or healthy

Culinary Complexity

Specialized techniques in candy-making
Broad range of culinary uses

Compare with Definitions

Candy

A confection made by dissolving sugar in water or milk to form a syrup, which is boiled until it reaches the desired consistency.
The candy shop specialized in old-fashioned hard candies.

Sweet

Having the pleasant taste characteristic of sugar or honey.
The ripe strawberries were naturally sweet.

Candy

A sweet food made with sugar or syrup combined with fruit, chocolate, or nuts.
She offered me a piece of homemade fudge candy.

Sweet

Having the pleasant taste characteristic of sugar or honey; not salt, sour, or bitter
A cup of hot sweet tea

Candy

A term of endearment, sometimes used to refer to something or someone sweet or delightful.
He called his daughter his little candy because of her sweet nature.

Sweet

Pleasing in general; delightful
It was the sweet life he had always craved

Candy

Candy, also called sweets (British English) or lollies (Australian English, New Zealand English), is a confection that features sugar as a principal ingredient. The category, called sugar confectionery, encompasses any sweet confection, including chocolate, chewing gum, and sugar candy.

Sweet

(of a person or action) pleasant and kind or thoughtful
It was sweet of you to come
A very sweet nurse came along

Candy

A rich sweet confection made with sugar and often flavored or combined with fruits or nuts.

Sweet

Used for emphasis in various phrases and exclamations
What had happened? Sweet nothing

Candy

A piece of such a confection.

Sweet

A small shaped piece of confectionery made with sugar
A bag of sweets

Candy

(Slang) An illicit drug, especially one, such as cocaine, that has a sugary appearance or a drug in pill form, such as MDMA.

Sweet

A sweet dish forming a course of a meal; a pudding or dessert.

Candy

To cook, preserve, saturate, or coat with sugar or syrup
Candy apples.
Candy ginger.

Sweet

Used as an affectionate form of address
Hello, my sweet

Candy

Edible, sweet-tasting confectionery containing sugar, or sometimes artificial sweeteners, and often flavored with fruit, chocolate, nuts, herbs and spices, or artificial flavors.

Sweet

The sweet part or element of something
You have had the bitter, now comes the sweet

Candy

A piece of confectionery of this kind.

Sweet

Having the taste of sugar or a substance containing or resembling sugar, as honey or saccharin.

Candy

Crack cocaine.

Sweet

Containing or derived from sugar.

Candy

(uncountable) An accessory (bracelet, etc.) made from pony beads, associated with the rave scene.
Candy kid; candy raver

Sweet

Retaining some natural sugar; not dry
A sweet wine.

Candy

(obsolete) A unit of mass used in southern India, equal to twenty maunds, roughly equal to 500 pounds avoirdupois but varying locally.

Sweet

Pleasing to the senses; agreeable
The sweet song of the lark.
A sweet face.

Candy

(cooking) To cook in, or coat with, sugar syrup.

Sweet

Pleasing to the mind or feelings; gratifying
Sweet revenge.

Candy

(intransitive) To have sugar crystals form in or on.
Fruits preserved in sugar candy after a time.

Sweet

Having a pleasing disposition; lovable
A sweet child.

Candy

(intransitive) To be formed into candy; to solidify in a candylike form or mass.

Sweet

Kind; gracious
It was sweet of him to help out.

Candy

To conserve or boil in sugar; as, to candy fruits; to candy ginger.

Sweet

Fragrant; perfumed
A sweet scent.

Candy

To make sugar crystals of or in; to form into a mass resembling candy; as, to candy sirup.

Sweet

Not saline or salted
Sweet water.
Sweet butter.

Candy

To incrust with sugar or with candy, or with that which resembles sugar or candy.
Those frosts that winter bringsWhich candy every green.

Sweet

Not spoiled, sour, or decaying; fresh
Sweet milk.

Candy

To have sugar crystals form in or on; as, fruits preserved in sugar candy after a time.

Sweet

Free of acid or acidity
Sweet soil.

Candy

To be formed into candy; to solidify in a candylike form or mass.

Sweet

Low in sulfur content
Sweet fuel oil.

Candy

Any sweet, more or less solid article of confectionery, especially those prepared in small bite-sized pieces or small bars, having a wide variety of shapes, consistencies, and flavors, and manufactured in a variety of ways. It is often flavored or colored, or covered with chocolate, and sometimes contains fruit, nuts, etc.; it is often made by boiling sugar or molasses to the desired consistency, and than crystallizing, molding, or working in the required shape. Other types may consist primarily of chocolate or a sweetened gelatin. The term may be applied to a single piece of such confection or to the substance of which it is composed.

Sweet

(Music) Of, relating to, or being a form of jazz characterized by adherence to a melodic line and to a time signature.

Candy

Cocaine.

Sweet

Remarkable; outstanding.

Candy

A weight, at Madras 500 pounds, at Bombay 560 pounds.

Sweet

Used as an intensive
Took his own sweet time to finish.
Earns a sweet million per year.

Candy

A rich sweet made of flavored sugar and often combined with fruit or nuts

Sweet

In a sweet manner; sweetly.

Candy

Coat with something sweet, such as a hard sugar glaze

Sweet

Sweet taste or quality; sweetness.

Candy

A small piece of sweet food, typically a bite-sized piece, often individually wrapped.
He grabbed a handful of candy from the bowl on Halloween.

Sweet

Something sweet to the taste.

Candy

A treat or goodie, often given as a gift or used as a reward.
The kids received candy for completing their chores.

Sweet

Foods, such as candy, pastries, puddings, or preserves, that are high in sugar content.

Sweet

(Informal) Sweet potatoes
Candied sweets.

Sweet

A sweet dish, such as pudding, served as dessert.

Sweet

A sweetmeat or confection.

Sweet

A dear or beloved person.

Sweet

Something pleasing to the mind or feelings.

Sweet

Having a pleasant taste, especially one relating to the basic taste sensation induced by sugar.
A sweet apple

Sweet

Having a taste of sugar.

Sweet

(wine) Retaining a portion of sugar.
Sweet wines are better dessert wines.

Sweet

Not having a salty taste.
Sweet butter

Sweet

Having a pleasant smell.
A sweet scent

Sweet

Not decaying, fermented, rancid, sour, spoiled, or stale.
Sweet milk

Sweet

Having a pleasant sound.
A sweet tune

Sweet

Having a pleasing disposition.
A sweet child
You're so sweet!

Sweet

Having a helpful disposition.
It was sweet of him to help out.

Sweet

(mineralogy) Free from excessive unwanted substances like acid or sulphur.
Sweet gas
Sweet soil
Sweet crude oil

Sweet

(informal) Very pleasing; agreeable.
The new Lexus was a sweet birthday gift.

Sweet

(slang) Doing well; in a good or happy position.

Sweet

Romantically fixated; enamored with; fond of.
The attraction was mutual and instant; they were sweet on one another from first sight.

Sweet

; not salt or brackish.
Sweet water

Sweet

To the eye; beautiful; mild and attractive; fair.
A sweet face
A sweet colour or complexion

Sweet

An intensifier.

Sweet

Used as a positive response to good news or information.
They're making a sequel? Ah, sweet!

Sweet

In a sweet manner.

Sweet

(uncountable) The basic taste sensation induced by sugar.

Sweet

A confection made from sugar, or high in sugar content; a candy.

Sweet

A food eaten for dessert.
Can we see the sweet menu, please?

Sweet

Synonym of sweetheart, a term of affection.
Good evening, my sweet.

Sweet

(obsolete) That which is sweet or pleasant in odour; a perfume.

Sweet

(obsolete) Sweetness, delight; something pleasant to the mind or senses.

Sweet

To sweeten.

Sweet

Having an agreeable taste or flavor such as that of sugar; saccharine; - opposed to sour and bitter; as, a sweet beverage; sweet fruits; sweet oranges.

Sweet

Pleasing to the smell; fragrant; redolent; balmy; as, a sweet rose; sweet odor; sweet incense.
The breath of these flowers is sweet to me.

Sweet

Pleasing to the ear; soft; melodious; harmonious; as, the sweet notes of a flute or an organ; sweet music; a sweet voice; a sweet singer.
To make his English sweet upon his tongue.
A voice sweet, tremulous, but powerful.

Sweet

Pleasing to the eye; beautiful; mild and attractive; fair; as, a sweet face; a sweet color or complexion.
Sweet interchangeOf hill and valley, rivers, woods, and plains.

Sweet

Fresh; not salt or brackish; as, sweet water.

Sweet

Not changed from a sound or wholesome state. Specifically: (a) Not sour; as, sweet milk or bread. (b) Not state; not putrescent or putrid; not rancid; as, sweet butter; sweet meat or fish.

Sweet

Plaesing to the mind; mild; gentle; calm; amiable; winning; presuasive; as, sweet manners.
Canst thou bind the sweet influence of Pleiades?
Mildness and sweet reasonableness is the one established rule of Christian working.

Sweet

That which is sweet to the taste; - used chiefly in the plural.

Sweet

That which is sweet or pleasant in odor; a perfume.

Sweet

That which is pleasing or grateful to the mind; as, the sweets of domestic life.
A little bitter mingled in our cup leaves no relish of the sweet.

Sweet

One who is dear to another; a darling; - a term of endearment.

Sweet

Sweetly.

Sweet

To sweeten.

Sweet

English phonetician; one of the founders of modern phonetics (1845-1912)

Sweet

A dish served as the last course of a meal

Sweet

A food rich in sugar

Sweet

The taste experience when sugar dissolves in the mouth

Sweet

The property of containing sugar

Sweet

Having a pleasant taste (as of sugar)

Sweet

Having a sweet nature befitting an angel or cherub;
An angelic smile
A cherubic face
Looking so seraphic when he slept
A sweet disposition

Sweet

Pleasing to the ear;
The dulcet tones of the cello

Sweet

One of the four basic taste sensations; very pleasant; like the taste of sugar or honey

Sweet

Pleasing to the senses;
The sweet song of the lark
The sweet face of a child

Sweet

Pleasing to the mind or feeling;
Sweet revenge

Sweet

Having a natural fragrance;
Odoriferous spices
The odorous air of the orchard
The perfumed air of June
Scented flowers

Sweet

(used of wines) having a sweet taste

Sweet

Not soured or preserved;
Sweet milk

Sweet

With sweetening added

Sweet

Not having a salty taste;
Sweet water

Sweet

In an affectionate or loving manner (`sweet' is sometimes a poetic or informal variant of `sweetly');
Susan Hayward plays the wife sharply and sweetly
How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank
Talking sweet to each other

Sweet

Pleasing in general; delightful or agreeable.
It was a sweet victory for the underdog team.

Sweet

Used to describe a kind, thoughtful, or gentle person.
Her grandmother was the sweetest person she knew.

Sweet

Referring to a type of food or dish that is sugary, often served as a dessert.
They served a sweet pie for dessert.

Sweet

A term of endearment, often used to address someone affectionately.
Goodnight, sweet, she said to her child.

Common Curiosities

What is the main ingredient in candy?

The main ingredient in most candy is sugar or a sugar substitute.

Can the word sweet refer to a person?

Yes, sweet can refer to a kind or gentle person as a term of endearment.

Are all sweets unhealthy?

Not all sweets are unhealthy; some, like fruits, provide natural sugars and nutrients.

Is chocolate considered candy?

Yes, chocolate is often considered a type of candy, especially in the form of bars or pieces.

Do candy and sweet mean the same thing?

Not exactly; candy refers specifically to sugary confections, while sweet is a broader term for anything sugary.

Is candy making a complex process?

Candy making can be complex, requiring specific techniques and precise temperature control.

Can the word sweet refer to a pleasant experience?

Yes, sweet can describe a pleasant or delightful experience.

Is honey considered candy?

Honey isn't considered candy, but it's a sweet substance often used as a natural sweetener.

Can savory dishes be described as sweet?

Yes, certain savory dishes with a sugary component can be described as sweet.

Are candies always small and individually wrapped?

Many candies are small and individually wrapped, but not all; some come in bars or unwrapped forms.

What's an example of a sweet that's not candy?

A fruit salad is an example of a sweet dish that's not candy.

Does the word sweet have a musical meaning?

In music, sweet can describe a pleasant or melodious sound.

Is the word candy used in any idioms?

Yes, the phrase "like taking candy from a baby" is a common idiom using the word candy.

Are there sugar-free candies?

Yes, there are sugar-free candies made with sugar substitutes.

Can sweet be used to describe someone's voice?

Yes, a gentle or pleasant voice can be described as sweet.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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