way of life / lifestyle

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Serbian, Serbia
Hi there! Could anyone please explain me the difference between "lifestyle" and "way of life"? I tend to perceive them as synonyms... are they?
  • nzfauna

    Senior Member
    New Zealand, English
    Hmm, not really.

    "Way of life" generally refers to how a cultural unit does things.

    "Lifestyle", generally, is what what individuals have.


    The Kazon's way of life is very different from ours.

    Algernon has a very comfortable and liberal lifestyle.


    Senior Member
    English English
    Nowadays, Bokonon, you often (but far from exclusively) see the word lifestyle preceded by alternative, to refer to people who, for whatever reason (ecological, for example), have chosen to live their lives in a way which differs from that of the mainstream. So you might hear
    NZfauna has opted to live an alternative lifestyle far from civilization, in a cave, with only bears for company.
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