Favourite or Favorite | Meaning, Spelling & Examples

Favourite and favorite are different spellings of the noun used to refer to something that is well liked and the adjective meaning ‘preferred above all others’. The word is closely related to the verb and noun ‘favour/favor‘.

The spelling tends to vary depending on whether you’re using UK or US English:

  • In UK English, ‘favourite’ (with a ‘u’) is standard.
  • In US English, ‘favorite’ (no ‘u’) is the correct spelling.
Examples: Favourite and favorite in a sentence
Although it’s an old song, it’s still a national favourite/favorite.

Summer is undoubtedly my favourite/favorite season.

History is Joseline’s favourite/favorite school subject.

Andre enjoys hiking and reading, but travelling is his favourite/favorite pastime.

Many words that are spelled with ‘-our’ in UK English are spelled with ‘-or’ in US English. Some other common examples include ‘favour/favor‘, ‘behaviour/behavior‘, ‘honour/honor‘, and ‘colour/color‘.

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Other forms of the word

The spelling distinction carries over to related forms of the word, such as the noun “favouritism/favoritism” and the adjective ‘favourable/favorable’.

  • In UK English, ‘favouritism’ and ‘favourable’ are standard.
  • In US English, ‘favoritism’ and ‘favorable’ are correct.
Examples: Other forms of favourite and favorite in a sentence
Teachers should not show favouritism/favoritism towards their students.

The critic wrote a favourable/favorable review of Johan’s book.

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Other interesting language articles

If you want to know more about commonly confused words, definitions, common mistakes, and differences between US and UK spellings, make sure to check out some of our other language articles with explanations, examples, and quizzes.

Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between favorite and favourite?

Favorite and favourite mean the same thing. However, the spelling varies depending on whether you’re using UK or US English:

  • In US English, ‘favorite’ (no ‘u’) is standard.
  • In UK English, ‘favourite’ (with a ‘u’) is correct.
Is favourite a verb?

Favourite is used as a verb in informal contexts to refer to the act of bookmarking a webpage or showing that you like something on social media (e.g., ‘1,000 users have favourited my post’). However, this usage should be avoided in academic writing.

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Ryan, E. (2023, March 14). Favourite or Favorite | Meaning, Spelling & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved 17 July 2024, from https://www.scribbr.co.uk/uk-vs-us/favourite-vs-favorite/

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Eoghan Ryan

Eoghan has a lot of experience with theses and dissertations at bachelor's, MA, and PhD level. He has taught university English courses, helping students to improve their research and writing.