Difference Between Favorite and Favourite

‘Favorite’ and ‘Favourite’ are two terms that have the same meaning. However, the way they are spelled causes a lot of confusion for English speakers across the globe. The difference between both the terms lies in the spelling, which changes according to American and British spelling standards.

Favorite vs Favourite

The main difference between favorite and favourite is that people who speak English according to American standards spell the word without a ‘u’. The rest of the English speakers all over the world spell the word with a ‘u’. The letter ‘u’ is added to many other spellings as well while using British English.

Favourite vs Favorite

‘Favorite’ is a word that is used by people who speak American English. When used according to this orientation, the word is spelled without using the letter ‘u’. English speakers living in the United States use this spelling. The word can be used both as a noun as well as an adjective.

‘Favourite’ is a term used by people living outside the United States. This means that all those who speak British English spell the world with a ‘u’ in it. However, the definition of the word remains the same. Like ‘favorite’, the term ‘favourite’ can also be used both as a noun and an adjective.

Comparison Table Between Favorite and Favourite

Parameters of ComparisonFavoriteFavourite
OrientationThis spelling is used by those people who speak and write American English.This spelling is used by those people who speak and write British English.
Place  People living in the United States use this spelling.People living outside the United States use this spelling.
LettersThe word is spelled without using the letter ‘u’.The word is spelled with the letter ‘u’ in it.
PopularityThe spelling ‘favorite’ was written in a dictionary by an American lexicographer in the year 1828.The spelling ‘favourite’ was written by a famous British lexicographer in the year 1755.
Correct spellingEven though this spelling became popular much after the latter, its usage is accepted widely.The spelling ‘0favourite’ is considered to be the original spelling by many people.

What is Favorite?

Favorite can be considered as the ‘American’ variant of the spelling ‘favourite’. People who live in the United States of America speak and write American English. So, it is acceptable and very common for them to use the spelling without the letter ‘u’. Many such words are spelled without a ‘u’ when used with an American orientation.

‘Favorite’ can be used as a noun as well as an adjective. When used as a noun, the term means ‘a person, place or thing that is more preferable or favoured over the other’.  When used as an adjective, the term describes something or someone who is more likely to be chosen or regarded.

Some people even argue that ‘favorite’ is not the correct spelling. This is often backed by the argument that the original word is spelled with a ‘u’. However, this spelling can be traced back to the 17th century when famous writers used it in their books. In 1828, a popular American lexicographer used the term with a ‘u’ in his dictionary. After this, the spelling began to be used widely.

An example of the term when used in a sentence is, ‘The team showed why it was a favorite to win the prize’.

What is Favourite?

‘Favourite’ is a word used according to British spelling standards. The people living in countries that speak British English use this spelling. Evidently, the letter ‘u’ is added to the word when spoken with this orientation. Even though the term is spelled differently, its meaning remains the same as when used in American English.

The term ‘Favourite’ can be used as a noun as well as an adjective. People have been writing down this spelling for centuries. However, it was a famous British lexicographer who used the term in his dictionary. Since then, this spelling is widely accepted by people living across the world, especially outside the U.S.

Many people argue that ‘favourite’, spelled with a ‘u’ is the original way of using the word. However, research shows that the term may have a common origin with ‘favorite’. When English speakers started using the word, apparently, there was no difference in the spelling. The word was used with the same spelling all over the world.

However, it was much later when the usage of the distinguishable letter ‘u’ was stopped by American English speakers. Whether the spelling ‘favourite’ is original or not is arguable. However, in modern times, the spelling ‘favourite’ is used widely.

Main Differences Between Favorite and Favourite

  1. Favorite is a term used by American English speakers while ‘Favourite’ is a term used by British English speakers.
  2. The term ‘favorite’ is mostly used by people who live in the United States. On the other hand, the term ‘favourite’ is mostly used by English speakers living outside the U.S.
  3. ‘Favorite’ is spelled without the letter ‘u’ while ‘favourite’ is spelled with a ‘u’.
  4. Both the terms were written down on paper by famous lexicographers. However, the spelling ‘Favorite’ was an American version while the latter was British.
  5. American speakers picked up the spelling ‘favorite’ in 1828 while British speakers picked up the spelling ‘favourite’ in 1755.


‘Favorite’ and ‘Favourite’ are two terms that essentially mean the same thing. However, a distinguishable characteristic among both is the use of the letter ‘u’. American English speakers exclude the letter ‘u’ while writing the word. Meanwhile, British English speakers spell the word using this letter.

Another major difference between the two is that different countries use different spellings for the same word. People living in the U.S. use the term ‘favorite’. On the other hand, English-speakers living outside the U.S. use the term ‘favourite’.

Even though the origin of both the spellings is unknown, they seem to have emerged into popularity within the same century. However, deeming any of the two spellings as ‘original’ is arguable.


  1. https://old.upm.ro/cci12/volCCI_II/Pages%20from%20Volum_texteCCI2-117.pdf
  2. https://www.ucv.ro/pdf/cercetare/programe_de_cercetare/jyr/Revista_JYR_1_2020_final.pdf#page=130
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