In many cases, you can find that words which initially appear to be absolute synonyms actually have slight differences in meaning, so that one can be used in a specific setting while the other cannot. Is there such a difference for кидать and бросать, or are they completely interchangeable?

  • Don't know about those words, but my personal opinion is that two words are only completely interchangeable if one of them is formal (or expression used by law, or other technical term) while the other is casual. So you could ask yourself (your knowledge) or a dictionary about that. Of course, there may be a small number of exceptions. And, of course, two words are only completely interchangeable if both have only one definition. Though one word could be always exchanged with another word with more defs, but not the other way round ;)
    – Em1
    Jun 29, 2012 at 8:37
  • Кидать is, indeed, casual and inappropriate in official applications, otherwise they are complete synonyms. Jun 29, 2012 at 8:40
  • Em1 If one of them can be used in a formal setting and the other cannot, then they are not completely interchangeable :) Jun 29, 2012 at 8:42
  • 1
    @VitalyMijiritsky Well, yeah. I forget to mention "without loosing any connotation". My point of view is if two words are completely interchangeable, then we don't need one of those words and we can drop it. Thus there is always a subtle difference between words, either in connotation or in, um, formality. The distinction, however, may be very subtle and nobody will conceive it ;)
    – Em1
    Jun 29, 2012 at 10:32
  • @Em1 I agree completely, that's the main reason why I'm asking this. Jun 29, 2012 at 10:44

8 Answers 8


In the meaning "to throw" both words “кидать/кинуть” and “бросать/бросить” are equal.

Бросить камень
Кинуть камень

But only “бросать/бросить” has meaning "to stop doing something, to leave some place, to break relationship"

Бросить учебу
Бросить курить
Бросить жену (to divorce)

кидать/кинуть” also has other meaning: "to deceive or betray somebody, not fulfill the promise"

Кинуть лоха

  • 6
    I'd argue that even in the meaning "to throw" they are not completely equivalent. Бросать has a meaning "to drop", while кидать doesn't.
    – jkff
    Nov 12, 2012 at 16:49

Бросать means "to leave, get rid of, or stop doing something" e.g.

бросить работу

бросить курить

бросить семью

(с)бросить бомбу

There is a fleur of a passiveness in this word. Бросить реплику or бросить взгляд means to say or to look at smth. briefly, without much attention.

The verb кинуть on the contrary implies active action. That's why кинуть кого-то is a really bad thing to do.

As always, there are exceptions. One can say бросать гранату and mean a really active and thoughtful deed, not "to get rid of a grenade" :)

  • 1
    сбросить бомбу and скинуть бомбу are completely interchangeable to me.
    – Quassnoi
    Jun 29, 2012 at 11:01
  • 1
    сбросить бомбу - drop the bomb.
    – las
    Nov 28, 2012 at 5:15
  • Yes, this. In the banya, before throwing more water on the rocks, one asks his fellow banya-goers "Можно подкинуть?" ...But I think this sense depends somewhat on the prefix, also.
    – SAH
    Apr 15, 2018 at 4:49

Бросить курить (to give up smoking) but not кинуть курить

  • I guess we are talking about бросить and кинуть that both mean "to throw", not about other meanings such as "stop to do smth" for "бросить" or "betray" for colloquial "кинуть".
    – Olga
    Jun 29, 2012 at 9:04

Бросить can be employed in metaphorical cases such as "бросить взгляд" (cast a gaze), "кинуть взгляд" is weird (for me). More examples (from Lingvo):

бросать обвинение — hurl an accusation

бросать реплику — fling (out) a remark

бросить (обидные) слова кому-либо в лицо - fling (nasty) words at somebody \ into somebody's teeth.

  • "бросил взгляд" and "кинул взгляд" are pretty interchangeable IMHO. Google seems to agree - the former is only marginally more popular. Jun 29, 2012 at 14:19
  • I get 634 000 for "бросил взгляд" vs. 97 200 for "кинул взгляд".
    – Olga
    Jun 29, 2012 at 16:04
  • Weird, you get a different number of results depending on whether you search on google.com or google.ru... Jun 29, 2012 at 18:12
  • 1
    Let's not take the Google numbers are binding.
    – Alenanno
    Jun 30, 2012 at 0:49
  • The number of Google search results isn't really representative. I ran a Google Ngram that shows "бросил взгляд" as a lot more popular, particularly in the years since 2000. Jun 30, 2012 at 10:37

There is no difference between "кидать" and "бросать". Ideally, "кидать" means to throw further away than "бросать", especially if there is no need to search for what was thrown away. But I don't think that today speakers bother about it.

The word "бросать" means a more intense action directed away from oneself, and it doesn't matter how far away something is thrown. For me this word is close to the meaning of word "breast", but this is not what the dictionaries say. Vasmer's dictionary also points out that word "brush" comes from the same root as "бросать", that is, there is one common part of the meaning: abrupt movement. As for "кидать", Vasmer tells that it means simply to throw smth in order to get rid of it. it On the contrary, there is definitively a difference in the meaning of derivatives. For verbs "закинуть" and "забросить" (i.e. the action is completed), "закинуть" means a less intense action. For example, I would rather say "забросить мяч в кольцо" than "закинуть мяч в кольцо". Also "в третий раз закинул старик невод" - the old man threw the net for the third time - he threw it far-far away, but not without a goal.

"Подкинуть" and "перекинуть" mean to throw something heavy, but there is no such thing for "подбросить" and "перебросить". Some examples:


Incorrect: "меня подкинуло", "подкинуть в воздух". Better: "Три раза подкинули, один раз поймали."

"Докинуть" stresses that the distance was great, "добросить" stresses that the goal was reached.

"Скинуть" and "сбросить" are equivalent.

"Откинуть" means that the thing that was thrown away is not interesting. "Отбросить" means that the thing was thrown away violently and deliberately.

"Вбросить" exists while it is not really possible to say "вкинуть" (unless you say to throw something rather big (a man, for example) into a place which is approximately equally big (into a window)).

Of course it is all only my humble opinion and it all is based on my own knowledge of Russian.


I would say there is a slight difference between кинуть and бросить in the meaning to throw.

Кинуть implies to propel something, throw with some force in a particular direction, for example кинуть камень в окно: one actually throws the stone into the window.

Бросить has a slight connotation of to let go, and is related to the meaning stop doing something (in this case, stop carrying), for example бросить сумку на пол: one just lets go the bag and falls to the floor on its own.

Nonetheless, both words are often used interchangeably.

As for other meanings of the words, other answers summarize them quite well.


бросить - can be just "put smth down", like, "put the gun down" - "брось пистолет". "кинь пистолет" would be wrong. Also, I believe that "бросить" can be used as harmful action but "кинуть" can't. кинуть - can mean deceive (slang).

Maybe there is geographically difference in use of these two words.

  • 1
    If there is a difference in how the words are distributed geographically, please provide information that supports it, otherwise please don't mention it.
    – Olga
    Nov 12, 2012 at 17:33

Criminal slang "кидать" is not exactly "to betray", more likely it means "to cheat". "Кинуть лоха" is "to make some business, often illegal, with the victim, and then disappear with all his money".

Although, "кидать" is similar to "покидать", "to leave someone", and in this case it's close to "to betray".

  • I probably agree that in some cases кидать can actually mean to cheat, however to betray is a more common meaning. Consider Я одолжил ему бабла, а он меня кинул.
    – Aleks G
    Nov 13, 2012 at 18:49
  • Кидок/кидать it's originaly from russian criminals language ("феня") and means almost ANY kind of crime based on confidence(trust) such as any kind fraud, cheating (e.g. in gambling), etc..
    – Sergey
    Nov 25, 2012 at 11:37

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