‘Flier vs. ‘Flyer’: What is the Difference?

By Kelsey Weeks, updated on July 8, 2023

When looking at ‘flier’ vs. ‘flyer,’ have you ever wondered which one you should use? Where would each of these words make sense?

If you need a quick answer to save time:

  • Each word can be used interchangeably.
  • ‘Flyer’ typically refers to a person flying in an aircraft.
  • ‘Flier’ typically refers to handbills or papers passed out.

Both words are correct. In British English, ‘flyer’ is the preferred word for both, and in American English in 2017, people can lean towards ‘flyer’ with ‘flier’ losing traction.  Continue reading to learn more about the appropriateness of each.

What is the Difference Between ‘Flier’ and ‘Flyer?’

Both words are widely used and accepted. In America, ‘flyer’ is becoming preferred due to the AP preference change.

Typically, when using the word ‘flyer,’ people think of someone flying in an aircraft.

  • This is not the only use of the word, but it is a common one. With only some airlines switching the spelling of frequent-flier miles to frequent-flyer for some airlines, there seems to be a cross-over that is accepted in America.

‘Flier’ is typically thought of as a paper handout, such as pamphlets handed to you as you pass someone on the street.

  • Although the use is not completely agreed upon in America, this would be accepted in writing.

Even though it is not wrong to use either one, it is important to stick with the same one. While writing, it is important to pick a spelling and stick with it unless switching definitions. Any iteration you select is technically correct, but you should not change it in the middle of a writing piece.

When to Use ‘Flier’ vs. ‘Flyer

Here are some considerations on when to use ‘flier’ vs. using ‘flyer.’

  • Use ‘flier’ when referring to a small handbill.

In this example, you could write:

I was given the flier downtown about all of the upcoming events. I love that they put it all in one place.

  • Use ‘flier’ when speaking about someone in the air.

For example, one can say:

 She is the best-known flier on the team. She has been practicing gymnastics to be a flier on the cheer squad for seven years.  

  • You can use ‘flyer’ when referring to a pilot.

As an example, someone may say:

He is known as the best ‘flyer’ in the department. He has accomplished many flights, and all have been rated top flights.

  • You can also use ‘flyer’ when writing about frequency.

You may tell someone:

She is a frequent flyer at this store. She comes at least once a week and is such a great customer.  

Definition of ‘Flier': What Does ‘Flier' Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, ‘flier’ is a noun and means:

  • One that flies.
  • A reckless or speculative venture.
  • An advertising circular.

Synonyms of ‘Flier

  • Pilot
  • Aviator
  • Airman
  • Flyboy
  • Gamble
  • Venture
  • Stake
  • Enterprise
  • Speculation

Antonyms of ‘Flier

  • Nonworker
  • Civilian
  • Citizen
  • Grounded
  • Sure thing
  • Guarantee
  • Few
  • Infrequent
  • Rare

Definition of ‘Flyer': What Does ‘Flyer' Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, ‘flyer’ is a noun and means:

  • Less common spelling of ‘flier.’
  • An advertising circular.
  • One that flies.
  • A reckless or speculative venture.

Synonyms of ‘Flyer

  • Handbill
  • Handout
  • Leaflet
  • Circular
  • Bulletin
  • Pamphlet
  • Brochure
  • Advertisement

Antonyms of ‘Flyer

  • Slip
  • Tab
  • Voucher
  • Low risk
  • Waterborne
  • Marine
  • Occasional

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce 'Flier’ vs. ‘Flyer

It is important to learn how to pronounce words so that you can use English words in writing and when speaking. This will help make you confident in the usage of the word, no matter the circumstance.

  • The phonetic spelling of 'flier' and ‘flyer’ is:

                Flai ur

Sample Sentences Using 'Flier'

Review these sample sentences to learn to use ‘flier’ when speaking and writing in the United States.

  • I was handed the flier on the upcoming sales in the outlet mall. I am glad that they are trying to revamp the mall after COVID-19 had such an impact on closing stores.
  • They grabbed the number from the stapled flier in the library. It was advertising guitar lessons, and they thought maybe they would be able to learn from that instructor.
  • The flier posted in the school showed how many prizes the students are allowed win based on the behavior rewards system. This gave some students a reinvigorated approach to earning the school currency.
  • Some people collect the fliers handed out when they see musicals or plays in New York City. Some even try to have the cast autograph them for their collection, but to do this, sometimes they have to be a top donor.
  • Few people take a flier by investing in new businesses because the risk seems greater than the reward. Sometimes it can pay out for them, so they are grateful, but sometimes it can be devastating financially, and they can become poor.

Sample Sentences Using 'Flyer'

Review these sample sentences to learn how to use ‘flyer’ in speaking and writing in the United States.

  • He is known as the best flyer in the family because he never gets sick when we fly. The rest of us struggle with motion sickness, but he takes it in stride.
  • The flyer for the airline gets to skip through the rigorous security at the airport because he has already undergone extensive background checks and screenings.
  • They were selected to be the base of the routine on the cheerleading squad even though they were hoping for the flyer position. They will continue to train, and there is always another opportunity.
  • I have looked at many different flyers that have gone over my house, but my favorite one of all is the Wood Duck.
  • She was able to get a free flight due to having 10,000 frequent-flyer miles. She is using that trip to explore somewhere that she has never been.

Closing Words on ‘Flier’ vs. ‘Flyer

When summarizing the information on ‘flier’ vs. ‘flyer,’ a quick overview is:

  • Both spellings are technically correct.
  • ‘Fliers’ are typically used in America as a handout or leaflet.
  • 'Flyer' is frequently used in the United States for most definitions, such as someone in the air.

To review, ‘flier’ and ‘flyer’ are both accepted spellings when writing in formal writing; people in the United States tend to lean toward ‘flyer’ in recent years. The most important thing to remember is to pick one spelling to have consistency when writing.

All posts on our website explain how to use tricky words correctly. Check back frequently to reduce the errors in your writing. You can find additional resources on English words in the confusing words section.

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Written By:
Kelsey Weeks
Kelsey Weeks is currently a school counselor at a high school and a previous English teacher. She loves helping others with literacy, learning more, and exploring nature. She has an undergrad in English with an emphasis on secondary education and an M.A. in Applied Psychology from NYU.

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