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Cancelation vs. Cancellation: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on February 26, 2024
"Cancelation" and "Cancellation" mean the act of annulling something; "Cancelation" is a less common spelling variant, primarily in American English.
Cancelation vs. Cancellation

Key Differences

Cancelation and cancellation refer to the act of making something null and void or stopping something from occurring. Both spellings convey the same concept and are understood in the same way. The variation in spelling does not affect the pronunciation or the meaning of the word. "Cancelation" with one "l" is an alternative spelling that is occasionally accepted, especially in American English.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023
The word "Cancellation" with two "l"s is the standard form in both American and British English. The double "l" in "cancellation" follows a common pattern in English where the ending "-ation" is preceded by a consonant that is doubled. "Cancelation" is a simplified form that aligns with the American English trend of streamlining certain British spellings.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023
"Cancelation" is less commonly used, but it can be found in various texts and publications within the United States. It represents a departure from the more traditional spelling of "cancellation" but is considered correct by some American dictionaries. However, "cancellation" remains the dominant form and is more frequently encountered in written and spoken English globally.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023
In the context of grammar and spelling, "cancelation" may be seen as a variant that reflects a broader tendency in American English to simplify certain spellings. For example, "labor" versus "labour" or "color" versus "colour." In contrast, "cancellation" reflects a more conservative approach to spelling, retaining the form that is more consistent with the word's etymology and with the International English standard.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023
While "cancelation" with one "l" might appear in American contexts, using "cancellation" with two "l"s is always correct and is less likely to be questioned by readers or listeners. As English continues to evolve, variations in spelling like "cancelation" may become more accepted, but for now, "cancellation" remains the preferred spelling in formal and international contexts.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Spelling Variance

Single 'l' (less common)
Double 'l' (more common)
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Usage

Primarily American English
Both American & British English
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Dictionary Listings

Listed as a variant
Listed as the standard form
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Frequency of Use

Less frequent
More frequent
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Nov 08, 2023

Formality

Accepted in less formal contexts
Preferred in formal and international contexts
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Cancelation and Cancellation Definitions

Cancelation

Withdrawal from a planned event or obligation
Their cancelation of the dinner plans was disappointing.
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Nov 08, 2023

Cancellation

Discontinuation of a service or subscription
We received a notice about the cancellation of our magazine subscription.
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Nov 08, 2023

Cancelation

Termination of an agreement or contract
The contract’s cancelation came as a relief to us.
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Nov 08, 2023

Cancellation

The process of ending an arranged event
The wedding's cancellation was announced due to unforeseen circumstances.
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Nov 08, 2023

Cancelation

The process of stopping something from happening
Due to the storm, the concert's cancelation was inevitable.
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Nov 08, 2023
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Cancellation

The act of making something null and void
The cancellation of the event left the audience upset.
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Nov 08, 2023

Cancelation

A mark made to show that something is no longer valid
A stamp marked the cancelation of the passport.
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Nov 08, 2023

Cancellation

The removal of a scheduled program or booking
The TV show's cancellation was confirmed by the network.
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Nov 08, 2023

Cancelation

The act of annulling something
The airline's sudden cancelation of flights caused chaos.
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Nov 08, 2023

Cancellation

The act or an instance of canceling.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cancelation

The act or an instance of canceling.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cancellation

A mark or a perforation indicating canceling.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cancelation

A mark or a perforation indicating canceling.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cancellation

Something canceled, especially a released accommodation or an unfilled appointment.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cancelation

Something canceled, especially a released accommodation or an unfilled appointment.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cancellation

The act, process, or result of cancelling; as, the cancellation of certain words in a contract, or of the contract itself.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cancelation

Alternative spelling of cancellation
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Oct 19, 2023

Cancellation

(mathematics) The operation of striking out common factors, e.g. in both the dividend and divisor.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cancellation

(philately) A postmark that marks a postage stamp so as to prevent its reuse.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cancellation

(legal) In United States intellectual property law, a proceeding in which an interested party seeks to cancel the registration of a trademark or patent.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cancellation

(anatomy) The property of being cancellate.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cancellation

The act, process, or result of canceling; as, the cansellation of certain words in a contract, or of the contract itself.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cancellation

The operation of striking out common factors, in both the dividend and divisor.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cancellation

The act of cancelling; calling off some arrangement
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Oct 19, 2023

Cancellation

The speech act of revoking or annulling or making void
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Oct 19, 2023

Cancellation

A mark or deletion indicating invalidity
The cancellation on the check prevented it from being cashed.
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Nov 08, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

Is "cancelation" a correct spelling?

Yes, "cancelation" is an accepted variant in American English.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Will "cancelation" be understood by English speakers globally?

Yes, but "cancellation" is more widely recognized and accepted.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Can I use "cancelation" in formal writing?

It's best to use "cancellation" in formal writing to avoid confusion.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Do "cancelation" and "cancellation" have the same pronunciation?

Yes, they are pronounced the same.
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Nov 08, 2023

How can I remember which spelling to use?

Remember that "cancellation" is standard in both American and British English.
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Nov 08, 2023

In publishing, which spelling is advised?

"Cancellation" is advised for consistency across publications.
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Nov 08, 2023

Are both spellings accepted in British English?

No, British English prefers "cancellation" with two "l"s.
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Nov 08, 2023

Is "cancelation" found in dictionaries?

Yes, but it may be listed as a less common variant.
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Nov 08, 2023

Are there instances where "cancelation" is preferable?

"Cancelation" may be used to align with American English simplifications.
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Nov 08, 2023

Should I avoid using "cancelation"?

It's not incorrect, but "cancellation" is less likely to be challenged.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Which is the preferred spelling, "cancelation" or "cancellation"?

"Cancellation" is the preferred and more common spelling.
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Nov 08, 2023

How do most spell checkers treat "cancelation"?

Many spell checkers may flag "cancelation" as an error, suggesting "cancellation" instead.
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Nov 08, 2023

Is one spelling more modern than the other?

"Cancelation" might be seen as a more modern American variant.
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Nov 08, 2023

Why does "cancelation" have one 'l'?

It follows a pattern in American English where spelling is simplified.
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Nov 08, 2023

Can spelling vary between "cancelation" and "cancellation" in a document?

It's important to choose one spelling and use it consistently.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Has the use of "cancelation" been increasing?

It's relatively stable but less common than "cancellation."
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Nov 08, 2023

Do "cancelation" and "cancellation" have different meanings?

No, they have the same meaning.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Does "cancelation" appear in legal documents?

"Cancellation" is typically used in legal documents for clarity.
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Nov 08, 2023

Is "cancelation" ever the only correct form?

No, "cancellation" can always be used as the correct form.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023

Which spelling should I teach to ESL students?

Teach "cancellation" as it is universally accepted and recognized.
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Nov 08, 2023

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Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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