Difference between Advisor and Adviser

September 28, 2016 by Editorial Team

Advisor and adviser are two terms that have confounded a lot of people for many years. Most often, they do not know the exact term to use in a sentence. Let us take a look and see if there’s a difference between the two.


The U.S. Secretary of State meets with Indian National Security Advisor Doval.

Adviser is someone who counsels or gives advice. But so is an advisor. If you are looking for advice on something particular such as finances, academic discipline or a legal matter, then you might want to look for an adviser or advisor.

Adviser and advisor are two words that have the same meaning with one letter making a difference in the spelling. Adviser is the original and older of the two concepts, which was derived from the verb advise. Advise means to give a suggestion, recommendation, or information to someone on what should be done. Advisor is said to have been derived from the word advisory, which means being able to give suggestions or advice.


By definition, there is no difference between the two words. However, adviser has been listed as the main spelling in most dictionaries like Oxford and in usage guides such as the AP Stylebook, Fowler’s and Garner’s. Most writers also use this, and it is about five times more common in current news publications.

Advisor is considered to be more formal than adviser and is often used in official job titles in the U.S. and Canada. It is also more widely used in American English writing than in British English writing.

Advisor and adviser are both acceptable, and you should use the one that you (or your company or industry) prefer.


The nation’s national security adviser has urged everyone to be vigilant and to stay away from crowded places.
My financial advisor told me that this is the best time to invest.
He is temporarily acting as the adviser for the company.

Comparison Chart

Someone who gives adviceSomeone who gives advice
Older termMore formal
Listed as primary spelling in most dictionariesWidely used in American English