Both translate as ring. Is there a difference in connotation? Or is it just a matter of dialect? To further confuse things, I have even heard anilla and aro!

  • The differences between the 4 words you've mentioned should be explained in the dictionary. Did you start there? If you stil have questions, please be specific about your doubts, or the context in which you are looking for the proper word.
    – Flimzy
    Commented Dec 22, 2014 at 0:52
  • This question appears to be off-topic because it is general reference.
    – Flimzy
    Commented Dec 22, 2014 at 0:53
  • Looks like any question pertaining to "Spanish vocabulary" is off topic then since dictionaries address vocabulary. And all "Spanish grammar" questions are off topic since grammar books address...well...grammar. You have the authority so feel free to use it the way you feel like. I have the answer I needed so I don't mind what you do with it now. I don't think my question is off-topic but that doesn't matter since you're the one with the authority. :)
    – TheLearner
    Commented Dec 22, 2014 at 17:31
  • Most questions asking about the definitions of words are indeed off-topic here--same as they are on English Language & Usage. There are however many questions about nuances, or regional differences, which are on-topic here.
    – Flimzy
    Commented Dec 22, 2014 at 17:37
  • 1
    I wasn't asking for mere definitions. I "knew" the definitions...was just asking for the "differences" between the terms which appear to have similar definitions according to the dictionaries. But like I said, feel free to use your authority the way you feel like. Thanks.
    – TheLearner
    Commented Dec 22, 2014 at 18:51

3 Answers 3


Both, anillo and sortija are valid words for ring. However, sortija is commonly used for women's jewelry rings, and never for engagement rings. It has a "cheap" connotation.

Let's summarize the answer with the comments:

Anillo: The most usual way to call any jewelry ring. It can also be used with different circular objects outside the scope of jewelry.

Aro: Can be used for jewelry rings, however is not usual. It's usual scope is to name circular objects.

Anilla: Not used for jewelry rings. Usually refers to different tools of metal pieces with a circular form.

Sortija: Ring of cheap jewelry, used only for women worn rings.

Alianza: Wedding ring, for men and women, however is more usually used just for men wedding rings.

Anillo de compromiso: Engagement ring.

  • 1
    Thanks for the crisp explanation, Bardo. Do you also have anything on anilla and aro?
    – TheLearner
    Commented Dec 1, 2014 at 9:21
  • Also, what's the word you'd use for general (not wedding or engagement rings) rings worn by men?
    – TheLearner
    Commented Dec 1, 2014 at 9:22
  • "Anilla" refers more to tools or objects, is not usual for jewelry of any type. Aro could be used, but is very unusual, his usual use is also for objects with a circular form, outside of the scope of jewelry. Rings worn by men are almost always referred to as "anillo" or, in the case of wedding rings as "alianza"
    – Bardo
    Commented Dec 1, 2014 at 9:24
  • So, let me summarize it: anillo – ring in general that are work on the finger anilla – tools or objects shaped as rings aro – any ring-like object that's not a jewelry sortija – women's jewelry ring used with a cheap connotation alianza – wedding or engagement rings for both men and women Am I right in my understanding?
    – TheLearner
    Commented Dec 1, 2014 at 9:29
  • Sortija is not a common word for ring in Mexico, here we just say anillo and the other examples you give.
    – Jaume
    Commented Dec 7, 2014 at 0:23

In Spain anillo is the common word for ring, both for men and women. Alianza is the word for wedding band.

  • 2
    This answer would work better as a comment to Bardo's, since it does not add much information.
    – Gorpik
    Commented Dec 11, 2014 at 9:48

Aro en España se suele utilizar para definir pendientes circulares y anilla para las latas (can ring)

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