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Difference between clip or magazine

clip or magazine

In this article, we’re exploring the differences between two commonly used terms: clip and magazine. While at first glance, these words might seem to refer to unrelated items, each plays a unique role in both everyday language and specific contexts, such as office supplies and firearms.

Quick Facts Table

Primary UseHolding together papers or attaching items.A container that feeds ammunition into a firearm.
Secondary UseReferring to a short segment of video or music.A periodical publication with articles, photos, etc.
MaterialMetal, plastic.Metal, plastic (for firearms); paper (for publications).
Related ConceptsBinder clip, paper clip.Cartridge, periodical.

Difference Between Clip and Magazine

Definition of Clip

A clip is a device that holds multiple rounds of ammunition together to be inserted into the magazine of a firearm. It's also a common term for a small fastener used to hold objects together, such as papers.

Definition of Magazine

A magazine is an ammunition storage and feeding device within or attached to a repeating firearm. It can also refer to a publication, typically periodical, that contains articles, photographs, and advertisements.

Origin of Clip

The term clip comes from the early 20th century, originally referring to devices used to speed-load magazines with ammunition.

Origin of Magazine

Magazine has its roots in the Arabic word “makhāzin,” meaning storehouse, which was adapted into the military context in the late 16th century to refer to a place where ammo was stored. The term evolved to its current meanings over time.


  • Clip: /klɪp/
  • Magazine: /ˌmæɡəˈziːn/

Comparing Clip and Magazine

When comparing a clip to a magazine, the primary distinction lies in their functionality and context of use. A clip is used to load a magazine, which is then inserted into a firearm. This difference is crucial in the context of firearms. In everyday language, magazine is often mistakenly used to refer to a clip.

Comparison Table

FunctionLoads ammunition into a magazine.Feeds ammunition into the firearm.
CapacityLimited and not attached to firearm.Usually higher; integral part of gun.
Physical FormSimple, without moving parts.Complex, with springs and follower.
Contextual UseSpecific to loading.Broad, including storage and feeding.

Usage in Sentences with Explanations

Use of Clip in Sentences

  1. I used a clip to gather all the documents for the meeting.
    • Here, clip refers to a device for holding papers together.
  2. The soldier filled his clip before heading out.
    • In this context, clip is used to refer to loading ammunition, although technically, it might be a misnomer.
  3. Can you send me a clip of that funny scene?
    • Clip here means a short segment of video.
  4. Ensure the clip is securely attached to the papers.
    • Refers to the use of a paper clip or similar device.
  5. She clipped the microphone to her shirt.
    • Uses the verb form of clip, indicating attaching something with a clip.

Use of Magazine in Sentences

  1. The latest magazine issue features an article on sustainable living.
    • Here, magazine refers to a publication.
  2. He inserted a new magazine into the rifle.
    • Refers to the component of a firearm.
  3. Their coffee table was covered with fashion magazines.
    • Magazine is used in the context of periodical literature.
  4. The gun malfunctioned because the magazine was not properly seated.
    • Discusses the magazine as part of a firearm.
  5. She subscribes to an online magazine for the latest tech news.
    • Magazine here means a digital publication.


Understanding the difference between a clip and a magazine is essential for clear communication, especially in contexts where precision is crucial, such as in discussions about firearms or literature. While a clip serves to organize or load, a magazine provides storage or information, demonstrating the versatility and specificity of English terminology.

Commonly Asked Questions

  • What is a common misuse of the term “clip”?
    • Referring to a firearm’s magazine as a clip.
  • Can “magazine” refer to both a firearm component and a publication?
    • Yes, magazine has dual meanings, depending on the context.
  • Is it correct to use “clip” for video segments?
    • Yes, using clip to refer to short segments of video or audio is widely accepted.
Jessica Smith

Jessica Smith

Jessica Smith, writer at, blends creativity with insight, exploring technology, culture, and psychology. With a background in English Literature, she crafts engaging stories inspired by nature and urban life. Outside writing, she enjoys exploring and continuous learning.View Author posts

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