‘Humour' or 'Humor': What's the Difference?

By Shanea Patterson, updated on December 22, 2022

Do you have a great sense of ‘humor’ or ‘humour’? What’s the difference between these two words? And how do you know which one to use? Don’t worry. We’ll cover that in this article, plus teach you how to use the correct spelling of the word in a sentence.

Don’t feel like skimming? Here’s the short answer:

  • ‘Humor’ is the American English spelling of the word.
  • ‘Humour’ is the British English spelling of the word.

The words mean the same exact thing.

‘Humor’ vs. ‘Humour’ – What’s the Difference?

As you just learned, the difference between these two words is that ‘humor’ is the American English spelling of the word, and ‘humour’ is the British English spelling of the word.

It’s pretty common for English words that end in ‘or’ to be spelled ‘our’ in British English.

Let’s take a look at some examples.

British English Versus American English

In the English language, there are quite a few words that have both an American English spelling and a British English spelling, like the word ‘humor.’ Let’s see some examples.

  • Mom > Mum
  • Color > Colour
  • Center > Centre
  • Flavor > Flavour
  • Organization > Organisation
  • Pediatric > Paediatric

Definition and Meaning of ‘Humor’ and ‘Humour’ 

The Merriam-Webster definition of the word is: “that quality which appeals to a sense of the ludicrous or absurdly incongruous: a funny or amusing quality,” “the mental faculty of discovering, expressing, or appreciating the ludicrous or absurdly incongruous: the ability to be funny or to be amused by things that are funny,” “something that is or is designed to be comical or amusing,” “an often temporary state of mind imposed especially by circumstance,” “characteristic or habitual disposition or bent: temperament,” “in medieval physiology: a fluid or juice of an animal or plant,” “specifically: one of the four fluids entering into the constitution of the body and determining by their relative proportions a person’s health and temperament,” “a sudden, unpredictable, or unreasonable inclination: whim,” “a normal functioning bodily semifluid or fluid (such as the blood or lymph),” and “physiology: a secretion (such as a hormone) that is an excitant of activity.”

As a transitive verb, it means: “to soothe or content (someone) by indulgence: to comply with the temperament or inclinations of,” and “to adapt oneself to.”

A few synonyms of the word include:


  • Comedy
  • Drollery
  • Hilariousness
  • Comic
  • Uproariousness
  • Comicality
  • Humorousness
  • Richness
  • Funniness
  • Irony
  • Sarcasm


  • Cater (to)
  • Gratify
  • Indulge
  • Spoil
  • Baby

How to Use ‘Humor’ and ‘Humour’ in a Sentence

Now that you know what the words mean let’s see some examples of how to use them correctly in a sentence.

  • I’m so grateful my husband has a great sense of humor.
  • I dated a guy with no sense of humor. It was a real drag.
  • I love your sense of humor, honey.
  • My boyfriend loves dark humor. He’s really into Halloween comedies.
  • My best friend thinks you have no sense of humor if you don’t like SNL.
  • Humor is one of the best qualities you can find in a spouse. 

Final Advice on ‘Humor’ and ‘Humour’

Now that you know that both spellings of the word are correct and that ‘humor’ is the American English spelling of the word and ‘humour’ is the British English spelling of the word, you can use the above examples to write your own sentences.

If you ever get stuck, we’ll be right where you left us. Come back and refresh your memory anytime.

We’ve also got an entire library of content that helps clear up common confusing words you might encounter while learning the language.

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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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