'Supercede' vs' Supersede': What's the Difference Between the Two?

By Carly Forsaith, updated on January 10, 2023

If you've been seeing two different spellings for the same word - 'supercede' vs' supersede' and wondering which is the correct version, then this article is for you.

In short, 'supersede' is the correct way to spell the word. 'Supercede' is an incorrect version, and to spell it that way is an error.

What's the Difference Between 'Supercede' vs 'Supersede'?

Whether to spell it 'supercede' vs 'supersede' is actually a commonly asked question. As such, it's a word that's often misspelled.

The only correct way to spell the word is 'supersede.'

Words ending in -cede are pretty common - in fact, between -cede, -ceed, and -seed, -cede is the most common suffix. So this could explain the common confusion. Take, for example, the following words:

  • concede
  • intercede
  • precede

Top tip! 'Supersede' is the only word that ends with -sede in English. That may help you remember the correct spelling.

What Does 'Supersede' Mean?

So what does 'supersede' actually mean? Well, firstly, it's a verb. And an intransitive one at that, meaning it needs a direct object.

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, it means "to replace something." And that, if you ask me, is a pretty accurate definition.

It comes from the Latin supersede, which literally means "sit on top of."

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce 'Supersede'

Now you know how to spell it, you might want to know how to pronounce it. So here goes.

The International Phonetic Alphabet spells it as such:


And phonetically, it sounds like this:

[SOO] + [PUH] + [SEED]

How to Use 'Supersede'

Now you know how to spell and pronounce the word 'supersede,' let's take a look at some examples of the word used in a sentence.

Remember that it's a transitive verb, so there should always be a direct object in any sentence that contains the verb 'supersede.' I'll highlight the direct object in bold in the following examples.

Regardless of what you have heard before, these new rules supersede any others announced by the organization.

She's made it very clear that her modeling career supersedes all her other responsibilities.

The new principal supersedes the previous one in all aspects.

His decision was superseded by the vice president's new plan for workplace wellness.

When you're at the office, your professional responsibilities supersede your personal issues.

Concluding Thoughts on 'Supercede' vs 'Supersede'

So remember, the only correct spelling for the word is 'supersede.' Perhaps remembering that 'supersede' is the only word in the English language that ends with -sede will help you memorize the correct spelling.

If you're ever in doubt, you can return to this article to refresh your memory.

And don't forget to read our other articles about commonly confused words over on our blog.

We encourage you to share this article on Twitter and Facebook. Just click those two links - you'll see why.

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Written By:
Carly Forsaith
Carly Forsaith is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. Carly is a copywriter who has been writing about the English language for over 3 years. Before that, she was a teacher in Thailand, helping people learn English as a second language. She is a total grammar nerd and spends her time spotting language errors on signs and on the internet.

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