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definitely - correct spelling

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  Ed Good  —  Grammar Tips
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The word "definitely" is one that is often misspelled, but it is essential to learn how to spell it correctly to avoid errors in written communication. The correct spelling of "definitely" is often confused with similar-sounding words such as "defiantly," "definitely," or "definately."

The word "definitely" is an adverb that means without doubt or certainly. It is derived from the Latin word "definitus," which means "defined" or "determined." The correct spelling of this word has been standardized in English for centuries, and it is crucial to use it accurately in any form of written communication.

The most common mistake people make when spelling "definitely" is to replace the second "i" with an "a" and write "definately." This error is so common that it has become a common internet meme. However, this misspelling is incorrect and should always be avoided.

Another common error is to use the word "defiantly" instead of "definitely." "Defiantly" means to act rebelliously or in a challenging manner, which is entirely different from the meaning of "definitely." Therefore, it is essential to be mindful of this difference when using the word in a sentence.

To avoid these common mistakes, it is helpful to remember the correct spelling and pronunciation of "definitely." The word is spelled with two "i's" and an "e," pronounced as "def-in-it-lee." By breaking down the word in this way, it can be easier to remember and spell correctly.

In conclusion, the correct spelling of the word "definitely" is essential in written communication. While it may be tempting to use similar-sounding words, such as "defiantly," the meaning of the word can be drastically altered by such mistakes. By keeping the correct spelling in mind and avoiding common errors, you can ensure clear and effective communication in any form of writing.


adverb's section on the Parts of Speech discusses the demise of -ly adverbs. Click here for that discussion.

Example: We have definitely decided to buy a Ford Escape.

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