‘Colum’ or ‘Column’: How to Spell ‘Column’ Correctly

By Shanea Patterson, updated on November 17, 2022

Do you spell it ‘colum’ or ‘column’? If you’re confused about the correct spelling, we’ll cover that in this article. Plus, we’ll teach you how to use the correct version of the word in a sentence.

Don’t feel like skimming? Here’s the short answer: the correct spelling of the word is ‘column.’ You’d never spell it without the ‘n’ at the end because that’s incorrect and ungrammatical.

Column – Correct Spelling

As we’ve just revealed, the correct spelling of the word is ‘column.’ Any other spelling is incorrect. 

Column vs. Column – Which is Correct

You might be tempted to spell the word incorrectly because you can’t really hear the ‘n’ in the word. But stopping at the ‘m’ is incorrect.

Let’s define the word and talk about how to pluralize it and use it in a sentence.

Definition and Meaning 

The Merriam-Webster definition of the word is “a vertical arrangement of items printed or written on a page,” “one of two or more vertical sections of a printed page separated by rule or blank space,” “an accumulation arranged vertically: stack,” “one in a usually regular series of newspaper or magazine articles,” and “a supporting pillar.”

It can also be defined as “something resembling a column in form, position, or function,” “a tube or cylinder in which a chromatographic separation takes place,” “a long row (as of soldiers),” “one of the vertical lines of elements of a determinant or matrix,” and “a statistical category or grouping.”

The Cambridge definition of the word is “one of several vertical blocks of print into which a page of a newspaper or magazine is divided,” “a piece of writing in a newspaper or magazine, usually on a particular subject, that is always written by the same person and appears regularly,” “any vertical block of words or numbers,” “a tall, vertical stone post, used as a support for a roof or in classical buildings (= in the style of ancient Greece or Rome) for decoration, or standing alone as a monument (= a symbol of respect for a special person or event),” “a line of moving people or vehicles,” anything or any set of things having a long, narrow shape,” and “any vertical block of words or numbers.”

Some synonyms of the word include:

  • Cue
  • Queue
  • File
  • Train
  • Range
  • Line
  • String

A Brief History

This word has been used since as early as the 15th century. It comes from the Middle English word columne, from the Anglo French columpne, and from the Latin columna.

Some phrases you might hear that contain the word include:

  • Spinal column
  • Vertebral column
  • Steering column
  • Water column
  • Advice column

Pluralizing the Word

The standard rule for pluralizing words in English is to add an ‘s’ or an ‘es’ at the end of a word.

For example:

  • Photo > Photos
  • Cat > Cats
  • Tire > Tires
  • Watch > Watches
  • Bus > Buses
  • Catch > Catches

The word ‘column’ follows this rule. Take a look at how you’d pluralize it:

  • Column > Columns

How to Use ‘Column’ in a Sentence 

Now that we’ve defined the word and learned how to pluralize it let’s talk about how to use it in a sentence.

Take a look at how you’d use ‘column’ in a sentence correctly:

  • We need to make a decision about the type of column we want to write.
  • That column looks shorter than the other one.

Now, let’s see how you’d use the plural version in a sentence correctly:

  • My niece helped design the columns for the new bank they’re building down the street.
  • I didn’t think people read newspaper columns anymore.

Final Thoughts on ‘Colum’ and ‘Column’

‘Column’ can be a tricky word to remember how to spell, especially if English isn’t your first language. But that doesn’t mean you can’t master it with practice.

Remember that the word is similar to words like ‘knife’ in that one letter is silent.

If you ever get stuck, you can always come back here and check out our library of confusing words.

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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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