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Donut vs. Doughnut

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  Marius Alza  —  Grammar Tips
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Donut vs. Doughnut

Spelling differences can create confusions even amongst the most commonly used words in movies, books, TV shows and daily conversations. There is no person who hasn't heard about a "donut"/"doughnut" or who doesn't know what that is.

 Even so, there might be people who are not sure whether the first or the second spelling is correct - and this is a normal doubt, given the fact that they sound very similar.

So when should you use "donut" and when should you prefer "doughnut" in order to make sure you always spell these words correctly? Let's take a look!

Donut vs. Doughnut

To begin with, both "donut" and "doughnut" have the exact same meaning. They are English nouns, referring to that sweet round-shaped, small fried cake, sometimes with a hole in its middle or with various toppings and fillings.

So regarding their signification, dictionaries confirm that "donut" and "doughnut" - both forms - are officially accepted and can easily replace one another in any context. The difference between these spellings, anyway, is given by the area where they are used. More exactly, "donut" is the US spelling and "doughnut" is the spelling used more frequently in the UK. Apart from this linguistic subtlety, there is no difference in the meaning of these nouns.

When do we use "donut"?

Obviously, as "donut" is the US spelling, it is most likely to be used when you communicate in American English. Apart from this recommendation, there is no reason why you should prefer "donut" for "doughnut". It's all up to you!

When do we use "doughnut"?

Same as "donut", it refers to the same cake and can be used in any context where you would also use the first one. But it's more appropriate in British English, especially if you are writing to a person from the UK and want to show some more linguistic elegance and consideration.


There is no restriction to remember regarding "donut" and "doughnut", given the fact that they mean the same thing and can be replaced one with another. Yet, it is good to remember that the first is more frequently used in American English, whereas the second is preferred in British English for more elegance..

Donut vs. Doughnut

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1 Comment
  • Birdshit
    The spelling 'donut' is NOT the 'US spelling'. That is rubbish. The only reason doughnut used more frequently in the UK, is because Dunkin Donuts never had much of a presence there. The 'donut' spelling only became popular due to that company's marketing. It has nothing to do with elegance or simplification. The preferred spelling in the US is also 'doughnut' - as they were originally made from 'little nuts of dough.' Any half-way decently educated American (yes, they exist) also knows this. 
    LikeReply 12 years ago


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