Most people use the words supper and dinner alternatively to refer to the last meal taken before going to bed. These two are however different and the words are not synonyms as many tend to think.
Americans used to have a light meal in the evening in between lunch and the last meal of the day. The evening meal was called supper and therefore the word dinner came into place to refer to the final meal of the day which was heavy.
Supper was eaten in preparation for the dinner and the behavior was mainly practiced by farmers who would wake up to intense work so that they can gain the strength to work.
In the modern days, supper and dinner have been differentiated depending on whether the meals are taken formally or informally. For instance, when you take your last meal in a restaurant or hotel, that is supper. When you take the meal at home, then that equates to dinner.
The two are therefore distinguished from each other depending on the circumstances under which the last meal is taken and the time of meal.
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