Difference Between Inclusive vs Exclusive

Difference Between Inclusive vs Exclusive

Today we’re going to clearly separate the difference between inclusive and exclusive so that you fully understand where it’s appropriate to use these terms as part of written and spoken language. These two similar-sounding words have caused a great deal of confusion for many people, but they are totally different in nature and are used to describe vastly contrasting circumstances.

Once we’ve outlined what makes them totally separate in nature, you’ll never face any confusion over them again. Read on to find out everything you need to know.

Definition of Inclusive

Inclusive is: “Containing something or someone as part of a whole.”

Immediately it’s clear that when we’re being inclusive of something, we’re making sure that it is integrated or included as part of something else. This could relate to an object, a person, or an animal.

A gang of people, for instance, would be an example of a situation where inclusive behaviour is being displayed. Every individual forming part of that gang would have been included as part of the overriding group. This means that whoever invited them was being “inclusive” towards them.

Another example would be a jigsaw. Though the entire finished picture presented by a jigsaw would form one image, that image would be inclusive of several individual small pieces that served to create the finished product.

In either instance, individual components had to be inclusively involved to reach a collective end result that consists of several pieces or people to make a whole. We’ll now delve into the meaning of exclusive so that you’ve got an even deeper understanding.

Definition of Exclusive

Exclusive is: “A restriction placed on a group or a person, area, or component. A situation, circumstance, or item that does not admit everything and everyone.”

After reviewing the above definition, we can see that the main difference between exclusive and inclusive is that whereas inclusivity allows involvement of other people, things, or objects. Exclusivity is the polar opposite and instead restricts involvement.

Examples of exclusivity can be seen every day, especially in the retail and hospitality sectors. For example, a clothing line may feature elevated prices so that only those with a significant amount of disposable financial resources can afford them.

Another real world scenario where we can see exclusivity displayed is concerning entry to certain night clubs where there is a specific dress code or other guidelines meaning that only certain people are allowed to enter.

After reading through the definitions and explanations, you should hopefully now have a much clearer understanding of the key areas where we can separate the inclusive vs exclusive debate thoroughly.

Main Differences Between Inclusive vs Exclusive

We’ll now provide you with a reference table that you can read through any time you get lost to draw a quick and accessible comparison between these two widely utilised words.

Basis of ComparisonInclusive Exclusive
Number of peopleMore people Less people
Used inAll circumstances and in all sectorsAll circumstances and in all sectors
Typical connotations Usually has positive connotationsCan have both negative and positive connotations
NatureAdds to something Takes something away
ExamplesThe group was inclusive of a wide variety of people with different ethnic backgroundsThe clothing store was very exclusive, only the rich could afford to shop there

By reviewing this table, we can see that while they may sound very similar when spoken out loud, these two words are significantly different and get used in very contrasting scenarios to one another.

Difference Between Inclusive and Exclusive: Conclusion

We hope that we’ve now fully resolved the inclusive vs exclusive debate for you in an effective manner so that you can make regular use of these two words in total confidence knowing where and how to appropriately apply them.

A simple way to remember the two is to say that one involves having more of something whereas another involves having less of something. This is ultimately where the two differ at large when we boil them down to their basic elements.