What Is the Difference Between Morrow and Tomorrow and How to Use Them Correctly?

Have you ever wondered if there’s a difference between “morrow” and “tomorrow”? After all, both words seem to refer to the next day. So, it’s understandable if there may be some confusion. But the truth is, there is actually a difference between the two.

“Morrow” is an old-fashioned and poetic way of referring to the next day or the future in general. On the other hand, “tomorrow” is a more modern and commonly used term that has become the standard way of referring to the next day. Both words would have been used interchangeably in the past, but nowadays, “morrow” is used mainly in literature or formal contexts such as legal documents or religious texts.

Despite their similarities, there are subtle differences in connotation between the two words. While “tomorrow” feels more mundane and practical, “morrow” has a more romantic or poetic quality to it. It’s also worth noting that the usage of “morrow” is more common in British English than American English. So, the next time you find yourself wondering which word to use, just know that there is a difference between them and choose the one that best fits the context.

Definition of tomorrow

Tomorrow refers to the day that follows today. It is a concept that allows us to plan and prepare for future events. The word is derived from the Old English “to morgenne,” which means “on the morrow.”

Tomorrow is often used interchangeably with the word “morning,” but they have different meanings. Morning refers to the early hours of the day, while tomorrow refers to the entire day that follows the present day.

Tomorrow is a concept that has fascinated humans for centuries. It allows us to dream about the future and plan for it. In fact, many of our greatest achievements were made possible because of our ability to envision a better tomorrow.

Definition of Morrow

Before we delve into the difference between morrow and tomorrow, let us first define what morrow means. Morrow is an old-fashioned word that is used to refer to the next day or tomorrow. It is commonly used in literature and poetry, but is not as frequently used in everyday conversation.

Usage of Morrow and Tomorrow

  • Both morrow and tomorrow are used to refer to the day after today. The only difference is that morrow is not as commonly used in modern English.
  • Tomorrow is the more standard and widely accepted term to use when talking about the day after today.
  • Morrow is often used in literature to add a poetic or nostalgic quality to the writing.

Morrow in Literature

Morrow has a rich history in literature, particularly in poetry and romantic novels. It is often used to convey a sense of longing, nostalgia and anticipation. For example, Shakespeare’s famous quote from Macbeth: ‘What’s done is done. /And what I have done is what I have done. /Be innocent of the knowledge, dearest chuck, /Till thou applaud the deed. Come, seeling night, /Scarf up the tender eye of pitiful day, /And with thy bloody and invisible hand /Cancel and tear to pieces that great bond /Which keeps me pale! Light thickens, and the crow /Makes wing to the rooky wood: /Good things of day begin to droop and drowse; /While night’s black agents to their preys do rouse. /Thou marvell’st at my words: but hold thee still; /Things bad begun make strong themselves by ill. So, prithee, go with me.’ In this quote, Shakespeare uses morrow to signify the coming of a new day – a reprieve from Macbeth’s guilt-ridden night.

Morrow vs Tomorrow: A Comparison Table

Morrow Tomorrow
An old-fashioned word A modern and widely accepted term
Conveys a poetic or nostalgic quality in literature Standard term used in everyday conversation and writing
Not as commonly used in modern English More commonly used in modern English

Ultimately, the difference between morrow and tomorrow lies in their usage and connotations. While both words refer to the day after today, morrow is an older and less commonly used term that can add a nostalgic or poetic quality to literature. Tomorrow is the more standard term that is widely accepted in modern English and used in everyday conversation and writing.

Time and Tense

Understanding the difference between morrow and tomorrow involves having a grasp of the concept of time and tense in the English language. Time refers to the period during which an event occurs, while tense refers to the form of a verb that shows the time of an action or state of being.

English has 12 tenses, which can be classified into 3 basic time categories: past, present, and future. Each of these categories has four tenses that indicate different degrees of completion of an action or state of being: simple, progressive, perfect, and perfect progressive.

For instance, the present tense has the following forms: simple present (I work), present progressive (I am working), present perfect (I have worked), and present perfect progressive (I have been working). Understanding these forms is crucial when comparing morrow and tomorrow, as they have different connotations depending on the tense in which they are used.

Morrow vs. Tomorrow: Time-Based Differences

  • Morrow and tomorrow both refer to the day that comes after today.
  • Morrow is an archaic way of saying tomorrow that is hardly used today.
  • Tomorrow is the contemporary, standard way of saying the day that comes after today.

Using Morrow and Tomorrow in Different Tenses

The difference between morrow and tomorrow in different tenses is subtle. For instance, in the present simple tense, morrow and tomorrow are interchangeable. You can use them in sentences such as “I will see you tomorrow/morrow.”

However, in the past tense, there’s a difference in meaning between the two words. Morrow is usually used in the context of storytelling or historical recounting, while tomorrow is used in contemporary narration. For example:

“In the olden days, they used to say ‘on the morrow’ when referring to the day after. Today, we say ‘tomorrow’.”

Tense Morrow Tomorrow
Present Simple I will see you tomorrow/morrow. I will see you tomorrow/morrow.
Past Simple The knights prepared for battle on the morrow. She promised to visit me tomorrow.

Knowing the difference between morrow and tomorrow in different tenses is essential for effective communication in both written and spoken English.

Historical origins of tomorrow and morrow

It’s easy to assume that “tomorrow” and “morrow” are simply variations of the same word, but their origins and meanings are slightly different.

  • Tomorrow: This word has been in use for over a thousand years, with its earliest known usage in Old English dating back to the 9th century. Its original meaning was “the end of this day; the day after this one.” It comes from the Old English word “tō morgenne,” which literally means “on (to) morning.”
  • Morrow: This older word has been in usage since Middle English times, dating back to the 12th century. Its meaning is very similar to that of “tomorrow,” but it’s a bit broader in scope. Where “tomorrow” specifically refers to the next day after today, “morrow” can be used more broadly to refer to any future day. The word comes from the Old English phrase “on ǽre morgenne,” which also means “on (to) morning.”

The similarities between the two words are clear, but the distinctions are not insignificant. “Morrow” has almost disappeared from modern usage, except in certain idiomatic expressions like “good morrow” or “see you on the morrow.” The word “tomorrow,” on the other hand, has become firmly entrenched in our everyday language.

Here’s a table that summarizes the differences between the two words:

Word Origin Earliest Known Usage Meaning
Tomorrow Old English “tō morgenne” 9th century The day after this one
Morrow Old English “on ǽre morgenne” 12th century Any future day

While “morrow” may not be used very often these days, it’s still interesting to look back at its evolution and the differences between it and “tomorrow.” Who knows? Maybe one day it will make a comeback!

Usage in Literature and Art

In the world of literature, the difference between morrow and tomorrow lies in the context and the intention of the author. There are some authors who deliberately use morrow to create an archaic and poetic effect, while others use tomorrow to communicate a more modern and contemporary tone.

Examples of morrow in literature:

  • William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth has a famous line spoken by Macbeth, “Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, / Creeps in this petty pace from day to day, / To the last syllable of recorded time.” Here, Shakespeare uses morrow to emphasize the cyclical and monotonous nature of time.
  • Another example is from J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, where Arwen discusses her future with Aragorn: “But if doom denies this to happen, then I must depart, dear Estel, and leave you as we part now: tomorrow, in terror of death and grief.” In this scene, the use of morrow adds a poetic and solemn quality to the dialogue.

Examples of tomorrow in literature:

  • John Steinbeck’s novel East of Eden has a famous line: “I believe there are monsters born in the world to human parents…some you can see, misshapen and horrible, with huge heads or tiny bodies; some are born with no arms, no legs…and some are born unchanged. They look like you and me…but inside them there is a grief, a despair, a noxious despair…I imagine the there’s a monsterous motherfucker born in every generation, with no language, no culture, no tribe, no nationality, just a general messing-up chromosome…but tomorrow we might cure him, how?” Here, Steinbeck uses tomorrow to refer to a future time of scientific progress and technological advancement.
  • Another example comes from Langston Hughes’s poem “Harlem”: “What happens to a dream deferred? / Does it dry up / like a raisin in the sun?…Or does it explode?…Maybe it just sags / like a heavy load. / Or does it explode?…We don’t yet know what will happen tomorrow.” In this poem, the use of tomorrow highlights the uncertain and unpredictable nature of the future.

Besides literature, the usage of morrow and tomorrow in art is also worth noting. Many artists have used these two words in their works to convey different meanings and emotions.

Artwork Artist Usage of Morrow/Tomorrow
The Persistence of Memory Salvador Dalí Neither morrow nor tomorrow is explicitly used in this painting, but its surreal depiction of melting clocks and distorted objects suggests a disruption of time and the continuity of the present into the future.
Tomorrow is Another Day Piero Golia This art installation consists of a 45-ton boulder which is rolled down a hill in Los Angeles every day until the end of 2020. The use of Tomorrow in the title communicates a message of resilience, perseverance, and hope for the future.

As we can see, the difference between morrow and tomorrow in literature and art boils down to the nuances in meaning and connotation, as well as the creativity and intentionality of the author or artist.

Commonly confused words in English

English can be a tricky language, with many words that sound similar but have different meanings. These words are often confused, leading to grammar mistakes and miscommunications. In this article, we will explore the difference between two such commonly confused words: Morrow and Tomorrow.

The difference between Morrow and Tomorrow

At first glance, Morrow and Tomorrow may seem interchangeable, but they have distinct meanings and usage.

  • Tomorrow: is an adverb and a noun that refers to the day that follows today.
  • Morrow: is an archaic noun that means the day following the current day.

The word Morrow was commonly used in the 16th and 17th centuries, but it is now considered old-fashioned and is rarely used in Modern English.

Other commonly confused words in English

Besides Morrow and Tomorrow, there are many other pairs of words in English that frequently cause confusion. Here are some examples:

  • Affect/Effect
  • Your/You’re
  • Its/It’s
  • Then/Than
  • Compliment/Complement

Tips to avoid confusing similar words in English

To ensure your writing is clear and mistake-free, there are a few things you can do when encountering similar-sounding words:

  • Check the definitions of unfamiliar words in a dictionary
  • Proofread your writing to catch mistakes
  • Practice using words in context to improve your understanding
  • Ask a friend or a colleague to review your work for mistakes


In English, there are many pairs of words that sound alike but have different meanings. Two such commonly confused words are Morrow and Tomorrow. While Tomorrow refers to the day following today, Morrow is an old-fashioned noun that also means the day that follows the current day. By checking definitions, proofreading, practicing, and getting feedback, you can avoid confusion and improve your writing skills.

Word Pair Meaning
Affect/Effect Affect is a verb meaning to influence; Effect is a noun meaning a result.
Your/You’re Your is a possessive pronoun; You’re is a contraction of You are.
Its/It’s Its is a possessive pronoun; It’s is a contraction of It is.
Then/Than Then means at that time; Than is a conjunction used in comparisons.
Compliment/Complement A compliment is a noun meaning an expression of praise; Complement is a noun or verb meaning to complete or enhance something.

Remember that using the right word can make all the difference in your writing.

Impact of Language Evolution on Word Meanings

Language is constantly evolving, and as it changes, so do the meanings of words. Words that once had one particular meaning can take on a completely different connotation over time. This evolution of language can have a significant impact on the way we communicate and interpret information.

  • Context: As language evolves, context becomes increasingly important. Words that once had a straightforward meaning may now require more context to understand their true intention. For example, the word “gay” originally meant happy or joyful, but over time its meaning has shifted to refer to the LGBTQ community. Without context, the word could be misunderstood.
  • Slang: In addition to context, slang terms and phrases can also greatly impact the meanings of words. Slang is constantly evolving and can change the meaning of words in unexpected ways. For example, the phrase “lit” once referred to a physical flame, but now often means that something is exciting or cool.
  • Cultural Shifts: Cultural shifts can also play a role in how words evolve and change. For example, the word “woke” originally referred to being aware of social injustice, but it has since taken on a broader cultural meaning encompassing activism and social awareness.

Language Evolution and the Difference between Morrow and Tomorrow

The difference between “morrow” and “tomorrow” is a perfect example of how language evolution can impact word meanings. “Morrow” was once a commonly used word in the English language that simply meant “the next day.” However, over time, its usage has become less common, and most people now use “tomorrow” instead.

As the usage of “morrow” has decreased, so has its recognition as a word. This lack of familiarity can cause confusion when it appears in literature or other forms of communication. For example, if someone were to encounter the word “morrow” in a book, they may not understand its meaning, despite it being a simple word that was once widely used.

Morrow Tomorrow
the next day the day after today

In conclusion, the evolution of language can significantly impact the meaning of words and how we communicate. Words like “morrow” that were once commonly understood can become outdated and lose their meaning. The difference between “morrow” and “tomorrow” is a perfect example of how language change can impact even the most basic words we use in everyday conversation.

What Is the Difference Between Morrow and Tomorrow?

1. What is morrow?
Morrow is an archaic term that means “the next day” or “the day after today.” It is not commonly used in modern English.

2. What is tomorrow?
Tomorrow is a commonly used word that means “the day following today” or “the near future.”

3. Are morrow and tomorrow interchangeable?
While morrow and tomorrow have similar meanings, they are not interchangeable. Morrow is a rarely used archaic term, while tomorrow is a commonly used modern term.

4. Is morrow still used today?
Morrow is rarely used in modern English and is considered an archaic term. It is mostly seen in literature, particularly in older works.

5. Why does morrow exist as a word?
Morrow originated from the Old English word “morgen,” which meant “morning.” It later evolved to mean “the next day” or “the day after today.” While it is an infrequently used word in modern English, it still exists due to its historical significance.

Closing Thoughts

Now that you know the difference between morrow and tomorrow, you can use these terms correctly in your writing and conversation. While morrow is an archaic term that is rarely used in modern English, it is still important to understand its meaning and origins. Thank you for reading, and visit us again soon!