Neighbor vs Neighbour: Difference and Comparison

Neighbour and Neighbor are two words that have the same meaning and also the same pronunciation. They mean a person or group living very near to the person referred to in the sentence.

It can be used in two ways:

Key Takeaways

  1. “Neighbor” is the American English spelling for a person living near or next to another person or property.
  2. “Neighbour” is the British English spelling for the same concept, with no difference in meaning.
  3. “Neighbor” and “neighbour” describe the same relationship, the only distinction being regional spelling preferences.

Neighbour vs Neighbour

Neighbor is a word that originated in America that means a person living extremely close to another person or a person living next door. Neighbour is a word that means someone who lives near you, a fellow human, or a place or thing close to another. It is the British spelling because it has a ‘u.’

Neighbor vs Neighbour

Neighbour/neighbour as a noun– A person living next door. Example- My neighbours hosted a party yesterday.

Neighbour/neighbour as a verb- When two objects or places are placed near one another, they neighbour each other. Example- The mall neighbours my house.

The spelling difference also includes words like neighborly/neighbourly, neighborhood/neighbourhood, neighboring/neighbouring and neighbored/neighboured.


Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonNeighborNeighbour
OriginThis word originated in America.This word originated in Great Britain.
SpellingIt does not have a ‘u’ in it.It has a ‘u’ in it.
ExistenceIt came into existence after the word “neighbour”.It came into existence before the word “neighbor.”
UsageIt is used mainly by Americans.It is used mainly by the British.
FormationIt was formed by the Americans after the Great War with the British because they wanted to create spellings different from those of the British.It was formed to describe a person living nearby/next door.


What is Neighbor?

Neighbor is a person living extremely close (next door) to another person. It means the same as the word “neighbour”.

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To understand the concept of the word ‘neighbor’, we must look at the crucial historical war between the Americans and the British. After gaining independence from the British, the Americans preferred changing most things.

They wanted to have their own unique identity as a different country. They changed quite a few things to be different from the British such as the official architecture, spellings used by the British and many more things.

They did so because they wanted to be free and different from their war enemy. The person who changed the older British words and formed American words was Noah Webster, who was a famous American lexicographer.

He wrote the first American dictionary in 1828. It was known as “An American Dictionary of the English Language.” Most of the American words different from the British were written by him in this book.

Neighbor is an example of such a word. They removed a ‘u’ from the original word ‘neighbour’ and created a shorter version ‘, neighbor’.

However, both mean the same and are also pronounced similarly.


What is Neighbour?

The word for someone who lives near you, primarily next door, is Neighbour. The dictionary meaning of the word neighbour may be:

  1. “Someone who lives next to or near another person”;
  2. “A place, a person, or a thing located near or adjacent to another”;
  3. “A fellow human.”

It may also be used as a verb. When places or things lay near or next to one another, they neighbour each other.


  1. Our neighbour is very kind-hearted.
  2. China is our neighbouring country.
  3. The cake shop neighbours our house.
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Neighbour is the original word found in British English and is used in all English-speaking countries such as Canada, Australia, Great Britain, New Zealand, Ireland, etc. However, it is not used by the Americans, who have changed its spelling by removing ‘u’ from the word and creating the word “neighbor”, which means the same as a neighbour.

It is even pronounced in the same way.


Main Differences Between Neighbor and Neighbour

  1. The word neighbor is mainly used by Americans. Neighbour is used by the British, and the people prefer British English.
  2. The words are spelt differently, as neighbor does not have a ‘u’, whereas neighbour is spelt with the letter ‘u’.
  3. ‘Neighbor’ was brought into existence after the word ‘neighbour’. Neighbour existed before the existence of the word neighbor.
  4. The word neighbor originated in America. On the other hand, neighbour originated in Great Britain.
  5. The Americans created the word’ neighbour’ due to a significant historical event, i.e. The Great War between the Americans and the British. Upon gaining freedom from the British, the Americans wanted to change many things they had gotten from the British. They wanted to be a unique country different from the British. Hence they changed the spelling and formed their word having the same meaning. ‘Neighbour’ was a simple English word created by the British to describe someone living nearby or next door.
Difference Between Neighbor and Neighbour

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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