'Alright' vs 'All right': What's the Difference?

By Shanea Patterson, updated on January 24, 2023

Wondering whether to spell the word ‘alright’ or ‘all right?’ We can help clear that up, plus teach you how to use the correct spelling of the word in a sentence.

The short answer is that ‘all right’ is usually a noun that refers to something that’s ‘satisfactory,’ but it can also be used as a verb to mean ‘well.’

The modern spelling ‘alright’ typically means ‘good’ as an adjective. 

‘Alright’ is generally used informally, and ‘all right’ is typically the most generally accepted form of the word.

‘Alright’ or ‘All Right’ – What’s the Difference? 

As you just learned, the difference between these spellings of the same word is that ‘all right’ is usually a noun that refers to something that’s ‘satisfactory,’ but it can also be used as a verb to mean ‘well.’

You also learned that the modern spelling ‘alright’ typically means ‘good’ as an adjective. 

‘All Right’ or ‘Alright’ – Which is Correct?

The generally accepted version of the word is ‘all right.’

However, ‘alright’ can also be used informally. Therefore, both spellings of the word are technically correct.

Definition and Meaning of ‘Alright’ and ‘All Right’

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of ‘alright’ is all right.

The same dictionary defines ‘all right’ as satisfactory, agreeable, safe, well, good, and pleasing.

The word ‘alright’ is more than 100 years old. Its first known use was in 1865, and some critics claim that this spelling of the word is wrong.

‘Alright’ is less common than its counterpart and is usually found in informal writing and fictional dialogue.

A few synonyms of the words include:

  • Good
  • OK
  • Hunky-dory
  • Fine
  • Copasetic

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce ‘Alright’ and ‘All Right’

Wondering how to pronounce these two words? Here’s a short guide.

  • To pronounce both words, here’s the phonetic spelling: AWL-RYT

How to Use ‘All Right’ and ‘Alright’ in a Sentence

Now that you know what the words mean and how to pronounce them, let’s see how to use them in a sentence.

  • Are you all right? You left the party early last night.
  • After getting fired from my job, my mom asked me if I was all right.
  • Is this dress all right for Max’s party tonight? I want to look my best.

Now let’s see how to use ‘alright.’

  • My favorite line from a book is, “Alright, let’s go live the rest of our lives together, forever.”
  • The movie we saw at the theater last night was all right. Nothing special, though.
  • “Alright, alright, alright,” is one of the most famous lines from the movie Dazed and Confused.

Final Thoughts on ‘Alright’ and ‘All Right’

To recap, you learned that these two words sound the same but mean different things. Use ‘all right’ when you mean ‘okay’ and when you’re writing for a more formal audience. Use ‘alright’ for informal writing, such as fictional dialogue.

If you ever forget this, you can always come back here and refresh your memory. We’ve got a whole library of content dedicated to explaining confusing words and phrases in the English language. Go check it out.

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Written By:
Shanea Patterson
Shanea Patterson is a writer based in New York and loves writing for brands big and small. She has a master's degree in professional writing from New York University and a bachelor's degree in English from Mercy College.

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