Ask Difference

Repair vs. Mend — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman & Maham Liaqat — Updated on April 15, 2024
Repair often involves fixing mechanical or technical issues to restore functionality, while mend typically refers to repairing fabric or relationships.
Repair vs. Mend — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Repair and Mend

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Key Differences

Repair is commonly used in contexts involving machinery, electronics, or structures, where the focus is on restoring something to its original condition. Whereas, mend is more often associated with textiles, such as clothing or fabric, and involves sewing or patching to restore the item's usability.
In a broader sense, repair can apply to abstract concepts like repairing a situation, suggesting fixing or resolving a complex issue. On the other hand, mend can also be used metaphorically in terms of relationships or feelings, indicating a process of healing or reconciliation.
The methods involved in repair can vary significantly, often requiring specialized tools or knowledge, particularly in fields like automotive or electronics repair. Conversely, mending is typically seen as a simpler, often home-based activity that requires basic sewing skills and tools like needles and thread.
The duration and complexity of repairs can vary, potentially involving multiple steps or replacements of parts. Meanwhile, mending is usually a quicker fix, focusing on small areas with direct stitching or patching.

Comparison Chart

Context

Machinery, electronics, structures
Textiles, clothing, fabric
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Tools Required

Specialized tools (e.g., wrench, solder)
Basic tools (e.g., needle, thread)

Skill Level

Often requires technical expertise
Generally requires basic sewing skills

Common Uses

Fixing cars, computers, appliances
Repairing holes, tears in clothing

Metaphorical Usage

Repairing situations, relationships
Mending relationships, emotional wounds

Compare with Definitions

Repair

To fix or restore a broken machine or structure.
I need to repair the leaking faucet.

Mend

To fix fabric by sewing.
I will mend the tear in my jacket.

Repair

To heal or restore health.
The patient is repairing well after the surgery.

Mend

To restore functionality to a small object.
Can you mend this broken necklace?

Repair

To restore data or software to functioning.
The IT technician repaired the corrupted files.

Mend

To improve a deteriorating situation.
They are mending their relationship after the argument.

Repair

To make up for or rectify.
He apologized to repair his friendship.

Mend

To heal or recover health.
She is mending well after her illness.

Repair

To remedy or fix a situation.
They are working to repair the damage caused by the misunderstanding.

Mend

To patch up or repair informally.
I need to mend the hole in my socks.

Repair

To restore to sound condition after damage or injury; fix
Repaired the broken watch.

Mend

To make repairs or restoration to; fix.

Repair

To set right; remedy
Repair an oversight.

Mend

To reform or correct
Mend one's ways.

Repair

To restore or renew
Repair the immune system.

Mend

To improve in health or condition
The patient is mending well.

Repair

To make up for or compensate for (a loss or wrong, for example).

Mend

To heal
The bone mended in a month.

Repair

To make repairs.

Mend

To make repairs or corrections.

Repair

To betake oneself; go
Repair to the dining room.

Mend

The act of mending
Did a neat mend on the sock.

Repair

To go frequently or habitually
Repairs to the restaurant every week.

Mend

A mended place
You can't tell where the mend is.

Repair

The work, act, or process of repairing.

Mend

A place, as in clothing, which has been repaired by mending.

Repair

Often repairs An instance or a result of repairing
The accident resulted in a costly repair to the car. My bike is in the shop for repairs.

Mend

The act of repairing or recovering.
My trousers have a big rip in them and need a mend.

Repair

The state of being fit for use
The furnace is out of repair.

Mend

(transitive) To repair (something that is torn, broken, defaced, decayed, or otherwise damaged)
My trousers have a big rip in them and need mending.
When your car breaks down, you can take it to the garage to have it mended.

Repair

General condition after use or repairing
In good repair.

Mend

(transitive) To put in a better state; to set right; to reform;
Her stutter was mended by a speech therapist.
My broken heart was mended.

Repair

An act of going or sojourning
Our annual repair to the mountains.

Mend

To quicken

Repair

A place to which one goes frequently or habitually; a haunt.

Mend

(transitive) To help, to advance, to further; to add to.

Repair

To restore to good working order, fix, or improve damaged condition; to mend; to remedy.
To repair a house, a road, a shoe, a ship
To repair a shattered fortune

Mend

(intransitive) To grow better; to advance to a better state; to become improved.

Repair

To make amends for, as for an injury, by an equivalent; to indemnify for.
To repair a loss or damage

Mend

To repair, as anything that is torn, broken, defaced, decayed, or the like; to restore from partial decay, injury, or defacement; to patch up; to put in shape or order again; to re-create; as, to mend a garment or a machine.

Repair

To transfer oneself to another place.
To repair to sanctuary for safety

Mend

To alter for the better; to set right; to reform; hence, to quicken; as, to mend one's manners or pace.
The best service they could do the state was to mend the lives of the persons who composed it.

Repair

To pair again.
Please try to repair the two earbuds to each other. Place both earbuds back into the charging case, wait for four seconds, then open it and see if they have been repaired with one another.

Mend

To help, to advance, to further; to add to.
Though in some lands the grass is but short, yet it mends garden herbs and fruit.
You mend the jewel by the wearing it.

Repair

The act of repairing something.
I took the car to the workshop for repair.

Mend

To grow better; to advance to a better state; to become improved; to recover; to heal.

Repair

The result of repairing something.
If you look closely you can see the repair in the paintwork.

Mend

Sewing or darning that repairs a worn or torn hole (especially in a garment);
Her stockings had several mends

Repair

The condition of something, in respect of need for repair.
The car was overall in poor repair before the accident. But after the workshop had it for three weeks it was returned in excellent repair. But the other vehicle was beyond repair.

Mend

The act of putting something in working order again

Repair

The act of repairing or resorting to a place.
Our annual repair to the mountains

Mend

Restore by replacing a part or putting together what is torn or broken;
She repaired her TV set
Repair my shoes please

Repair

A place to which one goes frequently or habitually; a haunt.

Mend

Heal or recover;
My broken leg is mending

Repair

To return.
I thought . . . that he repaire should again.

Repair

To go; to betake one's self; to resort; ass, to repair to sanctuary for safety.
Go, mount the winds, and to the shades repair.

Repair

To restore to a sound or good state after decay, injury, dilapidation, or partial destruction; to renew; to restore; to mend; as, to repair a house, a road, a shoe, or a ship; to repair a shattered fortune.
Secret refreshings that repair his strength.
Do thou, as thou art wont, repairMy heart with gladness.

Repair

To make amends for, as for an injury, by an equivalent; to indemnify for; as, to repair a loss or damage.
I 'll repair the misery thou dost bear.

Repair

The act of repairing or resorting to a place.
The king sent a proclamation for their repair to their houses.

Repair

Place to which one repairs; a haunt; a resort.
There the fierce winds his tender force assailAnd beat him downward to his first repair.

Repair

Restoration to a sound or good state after decay, waste, injury, or partial restruction; supply of loss; reparation; as, materials are collected for the repair of a church or of a city.
Sunk down and sought repairOf sleep, which instantly fell on me.

Repair

Condition with respect to soundness, perfectness, etc.; as, a house in good, or bad, repair; the book is out of repair.

Repair

The act of putting something in working order again

Repair

A formal way of referring to the condition of something;
The building was in good repair

Repair

A frequently visited place

Repair

Restore by replacing a part or putting together what is torn or broken;
She repaired her TV set
Repair my shoes please

Repair

Make amends for; pay compensation for;
One can never fully repair the suffering and losses of the Jews in the Third Reich
She was compensated for the loss of her arm in the accident

Repair

Move, travel, or proceed toward some place;
He repaired to his cabin in the woods

Repair

Set straight or right;
Remedy these deficiencies
Rectify the inequities in salaries
Repair an oversight

Repair

Give new life or energy to;
A hot soup will revive me
This will renovate my spirits
This treatment repaired my health

Common Curiosities

What skills are necessary for repairing electronics?

Skills in electronics, understanding of circuitry, and sometimes soldering are necessary for repairing electronic devices.

Can you mend metal objects?

Typically, mending is not used for metal objects; repairing is the appropriate term for fixing metal.

What does it mean to repair a car?

Repairing a car involves fixing mechanical issues or damaged parts to restore its functionality.

What tools do I need to repair a leaking pipe?

Tools like wrenches, sealants, or replacement pipes might be needed to repair a leaking pipe.

Is mending applicable to relationships?

Yes, mending can be used metaphorically to describe the process of improving or healing a strained relationship.

How long does it take to mend a piece of clothing?

Mending clothing can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours, depending on the damage.

Can I mend a broken vase?

Mending is typically not suitable for ceramics; the term repair is more appropriate for such materials.

What is the difference between mending and patching?

Mending generally refers to sewing repair, while patching specifically involves covering holes with pieces of fabric.

Do I need professional help to repair an air conditioner?

Yes, professional skills and tools are often required to repair complex systems like air conditioners.

Can emotional wounds be mended?

Yes, emotional wounds can be mended through healing processes like therapy and support.

Is it easier to mend or repair a torn book?

Mending might be simpler for a torn book, involving adhesive and tape to fix torn pages.

When should I use repair over mend?

Use repair when dealing with technical, mechanical, or complex structural issues.

When should I use mend over repair?

Use mend for simple, often DIY fixes, particularly with textiles or minor personal items.

Can repair be used in a medical context?

Yes, repair can be used to describe medical processes aimed at restoring health or anatomy, such as surgical repairs.

What's a common scenario for using repair in IT?

Repairing in IT often involves fixing software issues or hardware malfunctions in computers and networks.

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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.
Co-written by
Maham Liaqat

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