Ask Difference

Forenoon vs. Afternoon — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on August 18, 2023
Forenoon refers to the period of time between dawn and noon, while afternoon refers to the time between noon and evening.
Forenoon vs. Afternoon — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Forenoon and Afternoon


Key Differences

Forenoon and afternoon are both divisions of the day based on the position of the sun in the sky. Forenoon begins at dawn and extends up to noon. On the other hand, afternoon starts just after noon and lasts until evening.
Forenoon is a less commonly used term compared to afternoon. When people refer to the morning, they typically mean the time from dawn to noon, which encompasses the forenoon. However, the specific term "forenoon" zeroes in on the latter part of the morning, closer to noon.
Afternoon, conversely, is a term used more frequently. It's a time many associate with activities that take place post-lunch, such as work or leisure. While both forenoon and afternoon can be considered as productive hours of the day, societal norms and routines often ascribe different roles to each period.

Comparison Chart


The period between dawn and noon.
The time between noon and evening.

Common Usage

Less commonly used than afternoon.
More frequently used term.

Time Frame

Latter part of the morning.
Post-lunch hours.

Relation to Noon

Precedes noon.
Follows noon.

Societal Connotations

Often associated with morning routines.
Linked to post-lunch activities.

Compare with Definitions


The latter part of the morning.
The mail usually arrives during the forenoon.


The time between noon and evening.
He scheduled a meeting for the afternoon.


The time between early morning and noon.
She usually finishes her chores in the forenoon.


The daylight hours after 12 pm.
The heat is most intense in the early afternoon.


The period preceding midday.
He often takes a walk in the forenoon.


The span of time between midday and the onset of evening.
The sunsets in the late afternoon are breathtaking.


The daylight hours before noon.
The market is busiest in the forenoon.


The post-lunch period.
She often feels drowsy in the afternoon.


The period of time between sunrise and noon; morning.


Afternoon is the time of the day between noon and evening. It is the time when the sun is descending from its peak in the sky to somewhat before its terminus at the horizon in the west.


The span of time after dawn but before 12 pm.
She enjoys reading in the peaceful hours of the forenoon.


The time from noon or lunchtime to evening
I'll be back at three in the afternoon
I telephoned this afternoon
She worked on Tuesday afternoons


The morning
The forenoon watch
The wind starts picking up in the forenoon


In the afternoon; every afternoon.


Syn of morning: the part of the day between sunrise and noon.


Short for good afternoon


The early part of the day, from morning to meridian, or noon.


The part of day from noon until dinnertime or sunset.


The time period between dawn and noon;
I spent the morning running errands


The latter part
In the afternoon of life.


The part of the day from noon or lunchtime until sunset, evening, or suppertime or 6pm.


(figuratively) The later part of anything, often with implications of decline.


(informal) A party or social event held in the afternoon.


In the afternoon.


Ellipsis of good afternoon


The part of the day which follows noon, between noon and evening.


The part of the day between noon and evening;
He spent a quiet afternoon in the park


A conventional expression of greeting or farewell


The part of the day following midday.
The park is most crowded in the afternoon.

Common Curiosities

How is forenoon different from morning?

While "morning" refers to the entire time span from dawn to noon, "forenoon" is more specific, pointing to the latter part of the morning.

Are there specific activities associated with the afternoon?

While it varies by culture and individual routine, the afternoon is often linked to work, school, or leisure activities that occur after lunch.

When does the afternoon begin?

Afternoon starts just after noon and extends until the evening.

What does forenoon mean?

Forenoon refers to the period of time between dawn and noon, often focusing on the latter part of the morning.

Why is the term afternoon more prevalent than forenoon?

Afternoon is a broader term, encompassing a longer period of the day, and it aligns with many societal routines like post-lunch activities or work hours, making it more commonly referenced.

Is forenoon commonly used in daily language?

While forenoon is understood, it is less commonly used compared to afternoon. People often use "morning" to cover the entire period from dawn to noon.

Can afternoon also mean early evening?

While afternoon primarily refers to the time post-noon and pre-evening, in casual conversation, people might use "afternoon" to indicate early evening hours.

Do other cultures have terms similar to forenoon and afternoon?

Yes, many cultures divide the day into segments based on the sun's position and have specific terms for these periods, though the concepts and exact timings might vary.

Is there a specific hour that defines the end of the forenoon?

Forenoon technically ends at noon, which is 12 pm.

Is noon the definitive separator between forenoon and afternoon?

Yes, noon acts as the dividing point between the forenoon and the afternoon.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to 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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