Spelling

Webster’s Eleventh New Collegiate Dictionary is our first reference for correct spelling. For words not found in this dictionary, use Webster’s Third New International Dictionary. (See also Introduction.)

Use the first spelling for an entry with more than one correct spelling.
whimsy (first spelling: dictionary lists whimsy or whimsey)

If you find a word noted var of (variation of), use the spelling that follows var of.
moulding var of molding. (Use molding.)

Words may be spelled differently depending on their use in a sentence (adjective, adverb, noun,
preposition, or verb). Use the correct spelling for the part of speech you intend.
closeup (adjective and noun)
close up (verb)
follow-up (adjective and noun)
follow up (verb)

Be alert to spellings of compound expressions. Forms include joined, separated, and hyphenated words.
backyard
countertop
elbow grease
elbowroom
facelift
fiberglass
good-looking
guesthouse
guest room
moisture- and
side yard
windowpane
window seat
windowsill
year-round
vaporproof

See also Problem Words and the Word List.


 

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