As a native Spanish speaker I'm a bit confused because I thought "refeição" and "comida" was synonyms but looking for this on the internet I see it can be used in different ways, so, what is the difference between "refeição" and "comida"?

In Spanish we have the word "comida" as a general way to refer to all food. Also, a "comida" is when you eat something (for example breakfast is the morning "comida"). So the English word for "comida" are "food" and "meal".

So, what is "refeição"?

And also, can the Portuguese word "comida" be used in the same way as Spanish "comida" (meal and food in English)


  • Please use caps for languages and nationalities in English.
    – Lambie
    Commented Nov 10, 2021 at 21:50

3 Answers 3


According to dictionaries, refeição has the same meaning of Spanish refacción, that is, refeição is the act or effect of eating a meal, any meal at any time. But the word, in my experience, is mainly, though certainly not exclusively, used to mean either one of the daily meals, as dinner or breakfast, or a meal with sustenance, usually to strengthen the body or for gluttony, as in «não quero pão com ovo, quero uma refeição».

The word comida, just means the food itself, so every refeição needs comida, but not all comida makes a refeição.

  • "so every refeição needs comida, but comida needs not be in a refeição" explain it very well. Thank you!
    – J.F.
    Commented Nov 10, 2021 at 18:58
  • 1
    no one says refacción for a meal in Spanish. They say: una comida, for lunch or dinner. Any refeição needs to have comida in it.
    – Lambie
    Commented Nov 10, 2021 at 21:49
  • @Lambie, thanks. I didn't know that — I don't speak Spanish. Do you believe I should take the word out?
    – Schilive
    Commented Nov 10, 2021 at 22:12
  • No, but you said that comida does not need to be in a refeição. Of course, food needs to be "in a meal".
    – Lambie
    Commented Nov 11, 2021 at 17:18
  • Look at your English: comida need not to be in a refeição, ou seja, a comida não precisa estar numa refeição. Não faz sentido. Você quer dizer: not all food makes a meal.
    – Lambie
    Commented Nov 11, 2021 at 19:19

Spanish food= comida Spanish meal= comida

Portuguese food= comida Portuguese meal= refeição

So, the meaning for food in both is comida. But in Spanish comida also means meal.

The meaning for food is the same in both languages. The word for meal is not.


in Brazilian Portuguese refeição=meal and comida=food and that's it!
exemplos: Eu faço três refeições por dia e a comida que eu como não é saudável. Qual é a sua comida preferida? Batata. E a sua refeição preferida? O almoço.

  • 2
    I already said the same thing basically but it applies to all varieties of Portuguese.
    – Lambie
    Commented Nov 11, 2021 at 17:07

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