Is It Honor or Honour? | Meaning, Spelling & Examples

UK vs US updated on  January 10, 2024 4 min read
Honor and honour are two ways of spelling the same noun, which means “great respect” or “privilege.” It can also be used as a verb to mean “keep an agreement” or “regard with great respect.” The spelling depends on the type of English you use.

  • In American English, “honor” is correct.
  • In British English, “honour” is standard.
It’s important to choose one spelling and use it consistently. The QuillBot Grammar Checker can help you with this.

Examples: Honor or honour in a sentence
Megan decided to honor/honour grandfather by continuing his philantrophic work.
The organization plans to honor/honour its employees with a special ceremony.
In academic settings, plagiarism is viewed as a breach of honor/honour.

Honoured or honored

The same spelling difference applies to the past tense form honoured or honored.

  • In British English, “honoured" is standard.
  • In American English, "honored" is correct.
Examples: Honoured or honored in a sentence
Leslie honoured/honored her late grandmother during her wedding ceremony.
I wish they had honoured/honored the students for their hard work.
Casper felt deeply honoured/honored to receive the prestigious award.

Honourable or honorable

The spelling difference also applies to the related adjective honourable or honorable, meaning “creditable” or “worthy.”

  • In British English, “honourable" is standard.
  • In American English, "honorable" is correct.
Examples: Honourable or honorable in a sentence
Sanjay's honourable/honorable conduct earned him a lot of respect.
Serving the community in times of need is an honourable/honorable duty.
An honourable/honorable judge ensures that the rule of law is upheld.


Tip
Like the noun honor or honour, the adjective honorable or honourable is preceded by the indefinite article an instead of a, because the initial “h” is silent (it’s pronounced [on-ur]). When you don’t know whether to use a or an, sound out the word. If the first sound is a vowel, use an.


Exceptions: Honorific, honorarium, honorary

For most related words, the spelling difference between American and British English carries over. But this is not the case for the less commonly used words honorific, honorarium, and honorary. The “u” is never added to these words.


Examples: Honorific, honorarium, and honorary in a sentence
In Japan, the honorific “san” is used to show respect, like “Mr.” or “Mrs.” in English.
The talented musician was offered an honorarium to perform at the fundraising gala.
The organization recognized her as an honorary chairperson for her work.

Main differences between American and British English

American and British English are very similar, but there are a few main differences in spelling. Five important differences are:

Difference

Rule

Examples

-or vs -our

In American English, many Latin-derived words end in -or.

In British English, these same words end in -our.

Behavior or behaviour
Labor or labour
Favor or favour
Favorite or favourite
Color or colour
Humor or humour

-er vs -re

In American English, some French, Latin, or Greek words end in -er.

In British English, these same words end in -re.

Theater or theatre
Center or centre
Meter or metre
Liter or litre
Saber or sabre
Fiber or fibre

-ize vs -ise

In American English, many Greek-derived words end in -yze or -ize.

In British English, these words end in -yse or -ise.

Realize or realise
Recognize or recognise
Analyze or analyse
Organisation or organization
Minimize or minimise
Finalize or finalise

-ed vs -t

In American English, most verbs are regular and form their past tense with the suffix -ed.

In British English, some of these verbs are irregular and form their past tense with the suffix -t.

Learned or learnt
Burned or burnt
Kneeled or knelt
Dreamed or dreamt
Smelled or smelt
Spelled or spelt

Single vs double consonant

In American English, many words are spelled with a single consonant.

In British English, these same words are spelled with a double consonant.

Modeling or modelling
Traveling or travelling
Canceled or cancelled
Labeled or labelled
Buses or busses
Focused or focussed

Do you want to know more about common mistakes, commonly confused words, rhetorical devices, or other language topics? Check out some of our other language articles full of examples and quizzes.


Common mistakes

Commonly confused words

Rhetoric

Hers or her’s

Aid vs aide

Malapropism

Truely or truly

Advice vs advise

Pun

Beck and call or beckon call

Council vs counsel

Extended metaphor

Jist or gist

Former vs latter

Simile

Despite of

Breathe vs breath

Dramatic irony


Frequently asked questions about honor or honour

Is it maid of honour or honor?

Honor and honour are two spellings of the same noun or verb. The spelling depends on the type of English.

  • In American English, you use “honor,” so maid of honor is correct.
  • In British English, you use “honour,” so maid of honour is standard.

The same difference applies to similar words, such as “behaviour or behavior,” “labor or labour,” “color or colour,” “favorite or favourite,” “favor or favour,” and “humor or humour.”

It's important to choose one type of English and use it consistently. The QuillBot Grammar Checker can help you with this.

Is it your Honor or your Honour?

Honor and honour are two spellings of the same noun or verb. The spelling depends on the type of English.

  • In American English, you use your Honor as a title of respect (e.g., to address a judge).
  • In British English, you use your Honour instead.

The same difference applies to similar words, such as “behaviour or behavior,” “labor or labour,” “color or colour,” “favorite or favourite,” “favor or favour,” and “humor or humour.”

It's important to choose one type of English and use it consistently. The QuillBot Grammar Checker can help you with this.

Is it request the honour or honor of your presence in wedding invitations?

Honor and honour are two spellings of the same noun or verb. The spelling depends on the type of English.

  • In American English, you use “we request the honor of your presence at our wedding.”
  • In British English, you use “we request the honour of your presence at our wedding.”

The same difference applies to similar words, such as “behaviour or behavior,” “labor or labour,” “color or colour,” “favorite or favourite,” “favor or favour,” and “humor or humour.”

It's important to choose one type of English and use it consistently. The QuillBot Grammar Checker can help you with this.

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Julia Merkus

Julia has master's degrees in Linguistics and Language and speech pathology. Her expertise lies in grammar, language and speech disorders, foreign language learning, and child language acquisition.

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