Canceled versus Cancelled

What is the Difference Between Canceled and Cancelled?


Canceled and cancelled are both past tenses of the verb cancel. To cancel is to annul or invalidate; to decide or announce that planned or scheduled event will not take place.

When to Use Canceled

Canceled (with one “L”) is the preferred choice in American English.

Taking this into consideration, you should only use one “L” if you are writing to an American audience with the possible exception of cancellation.


When to Use Cancelled

Cancelled (with two “L’s”) is the preferred choice in British English and is used much more frequently than canceled. The below chart shows the use of canceled and cancelled (as a percentage of all words used) in British English books, journals, and magazines from 1800 to 2000.

Summary

Is it cancelled or cancelled? So, which word is which? Here’s what you need to know.

Although either cancelled or canceled can be used correctly in the same sentence, it’s important to keep your audience in mind when using these words.

Canceled is the preferred American word choice.

Cancelled is the preferred British word choice.


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