Colleague vs Boss- Differences Between Them

Colleague vs Boss

Can you consider your boss as your colleague? The answer is No. However, a boss can be a co-worker, i.e., working in the same profession and the same organization or company. Let’s know about the differences between Colleague vs Boss.

Let’s find the differences between a colleague and a boss.


  • What does the word ‘colleague’ mean?

A colleague is a person you work with. He/she is in the same profession as you are. However, a colleague needn’t be in the same office/company. 

For example, two researchers who work for different organizations are in the same profession and collaborate to publish their findings would be called colleagues.

  • Etymology

The word ‘colleague’ from the early 16th century was derived from the French word ‘collègue,’ which in turn derived from the Latin ‘collega’ which means ‘partner in office,’ which was derived from the Latin ‘col’ means ‘together with’ and ‘legare’ means ‘depute.’ 

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  • Synonyms for Colleague
  • Associate 
  • Assistant
  • Workmate
  • Teammate
  • Comrade
  • Aide
  • Ally
  • Auxiliary
  • Companion
  • Partner
  • Which words share a word element with the word ‘colleague?’
  • College
  • Collaborate
  • Delegate
  • In which places do the word ‘colleague’ most often used?
  • Workplace
  • Field
  • Industry
  • Academic
  • Counterpart
  • Professional
  • Peer
  • A colleague as a noun

Colleagueship is the noun for the word colleague.

  • Example of ‘Colleague’ in a sentence

Mira has received much support for her project from her fellow scholars as well as many of her colleagues in the science community.

  • Difference between a colleague and a co-worker

A co-worker can be a synonym for a colleague with the difference in the fact that a co-worker is in the same office or company as you are, while a colleague can be working in a different office or organization in the same profession as you do. 


  • What does the word ‘Boss’ mean?

A boss is a person who oversees workers and manages them. He could also be called a ‘manager.’ He directs the works of others and supervises them. He is in charge of a company or a business organization. He is the leader of an organized business unit. 

For Example, Mike took over the leading position as his boss retired after two years. 

  • Etymology

The word ‘Boss’ from the early 19th century is derived from the Dutch word ‘Baas’ means ‘master.’ 

  • Synonyms for Boss
  • Supervisor
  • Administrator
  • Manager
  • Overseer
  • Chaperon
  • Superintendent 
  • Chief
  • Foreman
  • Head 
  • Name some words which are nearby ‘Boss.’
  • Bossage
  • Bossa Nova
  • Boss around
  • Bossboy
  • Bosomed
  • Bosomy
  • Boson
  • Bosporus
  • Bosquet
  • Boss cocky
  • What is another meaning of ‘Boss’ as a noun?

Boss is any rounded protuberance, especially a decorative one on a ceiling or a vault.

It can also refer to any swelling or protruded mass found in animals and plants. 

It also refers to an exposed rounded mass of igneous or metamorphic rocks. 

  • Example of Boss in a sentence
  • You can fool your colleagues as well as your boss about how much sincere you are. But you cannot fool me.
  • She was fired by her boss for not meeting the deadlines and procrastinating.
  • Derived terms from the word ‘boss.’
  • Boss battle
  • Boss fight
  • Miniboss
  • Final boss
  • Boss as an adjective

Of excellent quality. First-rate (slang, American). 

For example- Don’t you think surfing’s boss. 

  • Boss as a verb
  • To be authoritative
  • To be domineering
  • To direct or control
  • Name some words that are related to boss
  • Executive
  • Chieftain
  • Fly
  • Top
  • Champion
  • Capital
  • Wheel
  • Head
  • Honcho
  • Exec
  • Owner
  • Is ‘Boss’ a co-worker?

A co-worker is a person who works in the same company or organization as you do. A boss can also be a co-worker. 

  • Is ‘Boss’ a colleague?

A colleague is a person who is at the same level or position as you are. Your boss cannot be your colleague. The role of a boss is to supervise you. He is not your peer as his position and role are higher.

However, in modern workplaces, some bosses work directly with their team and staff with the motive of a hands-on approach. They might be called a colleague then. Just the issue of status and his ranking matters otherwise he is also your partner as the other co-workers in your team. And you have to address him with a respect and formally unlike your other co-workers and colleagues. 

What’s a colleague, a co-worker, and a boss?

Let’s explain this simply by an example of school. Teachers in the same school whose job is to educate students are co-workers. They all work directly with each other. 

Teachers of different schools are colleagues. By profession, they are the same, differ only by their area of work. 

Teachers are not colleagues or co-workers with the principals or headmasters. A Principal is usually a boss to other teachers in the school and he guides and directs them regarding educating students and overall control of the administration.  They do not have the same ranking as well as job roles. A principal’s colleagues are other principals of other schools. 

What’s the difference between a boss and a leader?

A ‘boss’ and a ‘leader’ are often used synonymously, however, there is a huge difference between the two terms. 

  • A boss attains a certain position in a company or organization. He has his particular set of roles, to supervise and manage his team. He has his cabinet and is addressed very formally by his team. However, his ranking can’t make him a leader.
  • A boss usually directs order to his employees and push them to meet the deadlines. However, a leader motivates his team and works alongside them for effective communication. 
  • A boss usually commands his team instead of letting them present their viewpoints. However, a leader always listens to his team members and incorporates their ideas for better and effective decision-making. 
  • Leaders offer equality among their teams. He considers himself a part of his team, works as a co-worker, and brainstorm ideas for effective and quality work. 

As we have seen, though co-worker and colleague sound similar words, they have differences concerning their context. A boss can be called a co-worker. The only difference lies in his ranking and status in the organization. Similarly, a boss can be a colleague for people similar to his position working in a different organization. 

Colleague vs Boss- Differences Between Them

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