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Paediatric vs. Pediatric

Have you ever been to hospital and read a sign showing you the way to the 'Pediatric Department?' Or you may have spotted a signpost in another hospital with the spelling 'Paediatric Department'. So, which is the correct word? Which spelling should you use if you want to use the word in a formal piece of writing?

1:52 min read
  Angbeen Chaudhary  —  Grammar Tips
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This article answers all your questions about the spelling of these two words along with definitions, origins, usage and examples. Read along and you will get to know the difference between the two spellings.


The word pediatrics and its cognates mean "healer of children"; they derive from two Greek words: παῖς (pais "child") and ἰατρός (iatros "doctor, healer").

Pediatric as a noun:

Pediatric is the branch of medicine that deals with the medical care of infants, children, and adolescents, and the age limit usually ranges from birth up to 18-21 years of age (in some places until completion of secondary education). A medical practitioner who specializes in this area is known as a pediatrician, or, a paediatrician.

Pediatric as an adjective:

Pediatric is also used as an adjective to describe something referring to the branch of medicine dealing with children and related diseases.

'The hospital's paediatric ward is under construction.'

Pediatric or paediatric:

Pediatric (without an a) is the spelling most commonly used in American English which was changed back in the 19th century, thanks to Noah Webster and his ‘theory of difference’. The original spelling of the word is 'paediatric' (with an a), which was first derived from the Greek language and is still used in all of the world except America.

Paediatric vs. Pediatric

So, both of the spellings are correct but the ones you choose to use depend on your area of residency, origin and audience.


Through a nonprofit foundation, she helped to raise roughly $1.5 million for research into pediatric cancer. [Houston Chronicle]

This acute-care and community teaching hospital trains medical residents in many disciplines, including internal medicine, critical care medicine, surgery, pediatrics, podiatry, and pathology. [CNN Money]

Beloved, retired pediatrician Dr. Larry Morris died Tuesday, leaving behind a long legacy of healing in Gainesville. [Gainesville Times]

It has become the first dental college in the government sector to get two postgraduate (PG) seats in the paediatric dentistry in Maharashtra. [The Times of India]

“For example, paediatrics will be an entirely self-contained area with the waiting area away from the adult waiting area.” [ABC News Australia]

A paediatrician has accused a Cambridge gym of “blatant sexism” for assuming all doctors are men. [Cambridge News]


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1 Comment
  • custodian_c
    In the "grammar tips" at the top of the page, it says "peadiatric department"
    LikeReply2 months ago
    • acronimous
      Thanks! This is now fixed...
      LikeReply2 months ago


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