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‘Dateline’ vs ‘Deadline’: What’s the Difference?

Shaun Connell
December 15, 2023

If you need to know the difference between 'deadline' vs. 'dateline,' you are in the right place.

Here is a quick overview:

  • 'Deadline' is a noun that means the final date and time that an assignment or task must be completed.
  • 'Dateline' is a noun for a written or printed line in a story, article, or publication that provides relevant information, like the date, time, issue, and/or place of composition for the piece.

The answer above summarizes 'deadline' vs. 'dateline,' but you can learn more in this guide. So, keep reading!

What is the Difference Between 'Deadline' vs. 'Dateline?'

People often get confused by the definitions and uses of 'deadline' vs. 'dateline.' Both words relate to the publishing industry. However, 'deadline' is the last date and time that a writer can submit a piece for inclusion in a publication, magazine, newspaper, or news broadcast.

It can also refer to the due date for a particular assignment, blog post, article, or task assigned to a writer. 'Deadlines' are typically specific, and when writers fail to meet a deadline, they typically face consequences, including disciplinary action if they are employed at a publication, loss of the client, rejection of their piece, or reduced pay.

The 'deadline' and 'dateline' are typically not the same date and time if the 'dateline' contains that information because managing editors usually require copywriters and journalists to submit their work at least a day or two before they publish the issue so they have time to review the work and edit it or request revisions from the author.

The 'dateline' typically gives the publishing date and time of the issue or edition, or the composition site or location. When a story is revised, the 'dateline' is often updated to reflect the changes.

Definition of 'Deadline': What Does 'Deadline' Mean?

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines 'deadline' as a noun that means:

  • The date and time that a task or assignment is due before it becomes late
  • The latest date and time you can submit a copy, a story, or an article for inclusion in a specific issue of a publication

It can also mean:

  • A line, fence, or marking around a prison that indicates an area where prisoners who cross risk being shot

Synonyms and Similar Terms to 'Deadline'

  • Cutoff
  • End date
  • Due date
  • Finish date
  • Submission period
  • Cutoff date
  • Cutoff time
  • Submission closing

Definition of 'Dateline': What Does 'Dateline' Mean?

The same source defines 'dateline' as a noun that means:

Synonyms and Similar Terms to 'Dateline'

  • Datemark
  • Date-mark
  • Date-line
  • International dateline
  • Dateline version
  • Dateline offset
  • Dateline show
  • Dateline episode

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce 'Deadline' vs. 'Dateline'

Many people pay little attention to pronunciation when they are learning new words. However, learning the correct way to say terms like 'deadline' and 'dateline' that you may use in conversation with managers and colleagues can help boost your confidence and make you a better communicator.

It can also help you remember the difference in the meanings of similar terms.

So, here is a guide for pronouncing 'deadline' vs. 'dateline.'

  • Use this phonetic spelling to pronounce 'deadline' correctly:


  • Use this phonetic spelling to pronounce 'dateline' correctly:


When and How to Use 'Deadline' vs. 'Dateline'

You learned that 'deadline' and 'dateline' are both terms used in publishing, but here are some tips to help you decide when and how to use 'deadline' vs. 'dateline.'

  • Use 'deadline' to indicate the final due date and time for a written work, story, or article.

For example, your editor might say:

The final deadline for your, Weird Texas Towns, piece is June 6th at 12 p.m. 

  • Use 'deadline' to indicate the final cutoff for a payment or task.

As an example, I might say:

The deadline for you to make a payment before the company disconnects your power is this September 21st at 11 a.m. 

  • Use 'deadline' to refer to a line that indicates an area where prisoners who cross may be shot without warning.

So, you could say:

I can't understand why a prisoner would risk crossing the deadline. The guards are trained snipers with high-power rifles and they have orders to shoot to kill. 

  • Use 'dateline' to refer to a line of information containing the issue, publication date and time, and sometimes the composition location in a written or printed article or news publication.

For example, you could say:

We revised the dateline' to show that the piece was added post-publication. 

  • Use 'Dateline' to refer to the NBC investigative news show that first aired in the early 90s.

So, I might say:

It is hard to believe that Dateline aired its 31st season last year. 

Sample Sentences Using 'Deadline' vs. 'Dateline'

Now, read these sample sentences using 'deadline' vs. 'dateline.'  They will help you remember the difference between these terms and learn different ways to use them.


  • Please let me focus; I am working on a tight deadline.
  • The editor told her, 'If you miss another deadline, I will not assign you any more work.'
  • As a freelance writer, it is critical that you turn your assignments in before your deadline.
  • The thought of missing a deadline is stressful.


  • You need to edit the dateline before you reprint the story.
  • We include the date, time, issue, and composition location in the dateline of each piece we publish.
  • Blogs and personal websites often forego the addition of a dateline on brief posts.
  • Newspapers and magazines typically include a dateline at the beginning of each article.

Recap: 'Deadline' vs. 'Dateline'

Wow! That was a lot of information. Let's review what you learned about 'deadline' vs. 'dateline': 

  • 'Deadline' is the final date and time a task or assignment is due or has to be turned in. 
  • 'Dateline' is an information line in a written or printed paper or publication, and it typically includes the date, time, edition, issue, and location of composition. 

To learn about the differences between terms like these, take a look at our other grammar guides, and check out our informative posts for writers to learn about and stay current on the latest industry changes and best practices.

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Written By:
Shaun Connell
Shaun Connell has spent his entire career either working as a freelance writer or hiring freelance writers for his many successful publications. Shaun has learned the exact tricks of the trade to hire the perfect writer for almost any niche.

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