Humor or Humour | Meaning, Spelling & Examples

Humor and humour are different spellings of the noun meaning ‘mood’ and ‘the quality of being amusing’ and the verb meaning ‘indulge’.

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

  • In US English, ‘humor’ (no ‘u’) is standard.
  • In UK English, ‘humour’ (with a ‘u’) is the correct spelling.
    Examples: Humor and humour in a sentence
    The podcast is insightful and full of humor/humour.

    Kevin is often grumpy, but he seems to be in good humor/humour today.

    Have a sense of humor/humour! I was just being facetious.

    Kate humors/humours Leon by listening to his spoken word poetry.

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

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    Other forms of the word

    The same spelling distinction carries over to related words, such as ‘humored/humoured’ and ‘humoring/humouring’.

    • In US English, ‘humored’ and ‘humoring’ (no ‘u’) are standard.
    • In UK English, ‘humoured’ and ‘humouring’ (with a ‘u’) are correct.
        Examples: Other forms of humor and humour in a sentence
        Fia humored/humoured her husband by listening to him telling a story he’d already told many times.

        I don’t mean to be callous, but I was just humoring/humouring you when I said I enjoyed improv!

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        Exception: Humorous

        While ‘humour’ is the standard spelling in UK English, the related adjective humorous (meaning ‘comic’ or ‘amusing’) is used in both US and UK English. ‘Humourous’ is never correct.

            Example: Humorous in a sentence
            The principal sometimes makes humorous comments during the morning announcements.

            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.

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            Ryan, E. (2023, March 14). Humor or Humour | Meaning, Spelling & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved 9 April 2024, from https://www.scribbr.co.uk/uk-vs-us/humor-or-humour/

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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.