Spelling

Our first reference for correct spelling is merriam-webster.com, which is the continually updated online version of the print 11th edition of Merriam-Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary. For a second spelling reference, use Webster’s Third New International Dictionary. (See also Welcome.)

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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