'To Confirm' vs 'To Verify': What's the Difference?

By Katie Moore, updated on June 28, 2023

‘To Confirm’ vs ‘To Verify’: What’s the Difference? While the distinction may seem small when looking at these words, knowing which to use will help clarify your work. Both words have to do with finding and checking information, but they function differently depending on what exactly is being done with said information. 

In a rush? Here’s a short version of what we’ll cover today: 

  • ‘To Confirm’ something means to establish the truth of something. 
  • ‘To Verify’ means to establish if something is accurate. 

What’s the Difference Between ‘To Confirm’ vs ‘To Verify’?

As mentioned, both ‘To Confirm’ and ‘To Verify’ have to do with establishing the quality of a piece of information. Typically these words deal with truthfulness and accuracy and thus can often overlap or be considered synonyms of each other. 

So how do we tell them apart? The best way to do this is to consider timing. Confirming something typically comes after the information has been revealed, while verifying information typically occurs before or in the process of discovering information. 

For example:

  • You may ask a first witness to verify some evidence, but then you may confirm said evidence with a second witness after the fact. 

An easy way to remember this timing trick is to consider whether you already have the information or are still seeking it out. 

Another thing to consider is what kind of information you’re dealing with. Typically hard facts require verification, while stories or narratives require confirmation. Verification helps determine that a fact is accurate, while confirmation helps determine whether a story is true.

Of course, in some cases, verification and confirmation may be used interchangeably, but they may not be used in the most accurate setting. Now that you know a bit more about our new words, let’s take a closer look at ‘To Confirm’ vs ‘To Verify.’ 

Definition of ‘To Confirm’: What Does it Mean? 

According to Oxford Languages, ‘To Confirm’ is a verb that means: 

  • Establish the truth or correctness of something (previously believed, suspected, or feared to be the case). 
  • State with the assurance that a report is true. 

It can also mean: 

  • Reinforce someone (in an opinion, belief, or feeling).
  • Make a provisional appointment or arrangement definite.
  • Formally declare someone to be appointed to a particular position. 
  • Administer the religious rite of confirmation. 

Synonyms of ‘To Confirm’

  • Affirm
  • Ratify 
  • Certify
  • Endorse
  • Uphold
  • Support
  • Attest
  • Corroborate

Antonyms of ‘To Confirm’

  • Confuse
  • Contradict
  • Deny
  • Discredit
  • Invalidate
  • Reject
  • Annul

Phrases with ‘To Confirm’

  • Confirm it
  • To be confirmed
  • Receive confirmation 

Definition of ‘To Verify’: What Does it Mean? 

According to Oxford Languages, ‘To Verify’ is a verb that means: 

  • Make sure or demonstrate that something is true, accurate, or justified. 
  • Swear to or support a statement by affidavit (in law). 

An interesting note here and a helpful memory trick is that the word ‘Verify’ comes from the Latin word “verus” which means “true.” 

Synonyms for ‘To Verify’

  • Authenticate
  • Check
  • Establish
  • Demonstrate
  • Prove
  • Substantiate
  • Validate
  • Debunk 

Antonyms for ‘To Verify’

  • Conceal
  • Contradict
  • Disprove
  • Hide
  • Refute

Phrases with ‘To Verify’

  • Trust but verify
  • Verify information
  • It’s been verified

Pronunciations: How to Pronounce ‘To Confirm’ vs ‘To Verify’

Since spoken language is just as important as written language, we like to equip you with everything you need to use these words in conversation or a presentation. This includes knowing how to pronounce these new words.

  • As always, remember, regional accents may affect pronunciations, but they don’t invalidate a word's meaning or any dialect's legitimacy. 

Use the following guide to learn a basic pronunciation of these words. 

Use this phonetic spelling of ‘To Confirm’ for reference: 

  •  kuhn-furm (with the ‘i’ as in ‘worm’)

Use this phonetic spelling of ‘To Verify’ for reference: 

  • vehrr-uh-fy (with the ‘y’ as in ‘eye’)

How to Use ‘To Confirm’ vs ‘To Verify’ in a Sentence

Given that ‘To Confirm’ vs ‘To Verify’ are so similar, here are some example sentences to clarify how they are used differently. As a reminder, though, these words can appear as synonyms, so there is no need to keep them separate. But, here are some examples to help you with context. 

‘To Confirm’

  • The judge called upon the husband of the witness to confirm her story. 
  • I called my friends to confirm the dates of our beach vacation. 
  • His parents used a locator app to confirm their son had arrived at school safely. 
  • The child was publicly confirmed as a new member of The Catholic Church. 

‘To Verify’ 

  • She verified that the atomic number of silver was, in fact, 47 on the periodic table. 
  • He wanted to verify what color scheme had been chosen for the wedding. 
  • They trusted her guess, but wanted to verify by googling it first. 
  • He was verified by the police as a possible suspect in the recent kidnapping. 

Final Advice on ‘To Confirm’ vs ‘To Verify’

Identifying the difference between words that are sometimes considered synonyms can be tough, but knowing what sets them apart can be the key to presenting your best work. In the case of ‘To Confirm’ vs ‘To Verify,’ one last helpful hint may be to consider their individual synonyms to see what context they should appear in. Otherwise, remember the trick of timing. 

Want to review it? Here is a short recap of what we covered: 

  • Remember that ‘To Confirm’ often is used to establish the correctness of the information, as it is typically used after the fact. 
  • Meanwhile, ‘To Verify’ is used to demonstrate that information is true and is often used in the process of seeking information. 

Learning the distinction between synonyms is a great way to expand your vocabulary, and you can find more tricky synonyms and other confusing words on our website. Be sure to keep the context in mind as you navigate new words, and don’t be afraid to develop your own language tricks to keep things straight in your mind and your writing. 

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Written By:
Katie Moore
Katie is a recent graduate of Occidental College where she worked as a writer and editor for the school paper while studying linguistics and journalism. She loves helping others find their voice in writing and making their work the strongest it can be. Katie also loves learning and speaking other languages and wants to help make writing accessible for everyone.

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