Ask Difference

Cancelation vs. Cancellation — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on September 2, 2023
Cancelation and Cancellation both mean the act of canceling, but "cancelation" is primarily used in American English, while "cancellation" is preferred in British English.
Cancelation vs. Cancellation — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Cancelation and Cancellation


Key Differences

Cancelation and Cancellation both refer to the act or instance of canceling something. The terms are virtually identical in meaning, but the number of L's differs between the two.
Cancelation, with one "L", is the American English spelling. It's in line with other American English spelling tendencies, which often simplify words compared to their British counterparts. For instance, "color" in American English and "colour" in British English.
Cancellation, with two "L's", is the British English spelling. It follows the pattern of British English that sometimes includes additional letters or retains traditional spellings. Another example can be seen in the words "traveled" (American English) and "travelled" (British English).
When writing, it's essential to consider the audience. If the audience is primarily American, "cancelation" might be the more familiar spelling. On the other hand, if you're addressing a British audience or writing for international readership, "cancellation" could be the preferred choice.
In terms of pronunciation, there's virtually no difference between cancelation and cancellation. The emphasis remains on the second syllable, regardless of which spelling is used.

Comparison Chart


One "L"
Two "L's"

Common Usage

American English
British English


"color", "traveled"
"colour", "travelled"


Emphasis on second syllable
Emphasis on second syllable


Act of canceling
Act of canceling

Compare with Definitions


The process of making something null and void.
The cancelation of the event was due to unforeseen circumstances.


The act of making something ineffective.
The cancellation of the law brought relief to many.


An instance where a plan or activity is abandoned.
The cancelation of the trip disappointed many.


A termination or ending of an agreement.
They received a notice of cancellation for their insurance policy.


The process of negating or dismissing.
The software provides a quick cancelation of commands.


Nullifying or voiding a previous decision.
The company announced the cancellation of its previous product launch.


A deletion or removal of an event.
There was a cancelation in the team's match schedule.


The process of removing or deleting something scheduled.
Due to technical issues, the flight faced a cancellation.


The action of terminating an agreement.
The sudden cancelation of the contract surprised everyone.


The action of cancelling something
The project was threatened with cancellation by the government
The show is sold out, but check for cancellations


The act or an instance of canceling.


The act or an instance of canceling.


A mark or a perforation indicating canceling.


A mark or a perforation indicating canceling.


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


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


Alternative spelling of cancellation


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


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


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


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


(anatomy) The property of being cancellate.


The act, process, or result of canceling; as, the cansellation of certain words in a contract, or of the contract itself.


The operation of striking out common factors, in both the dividend and divisor.


The act of cancelling; calling off some arrangement


The speech act of revoking or annulling or making void


A decision to stop an event from taking place.
Rain led to the cancellation of the game.

Common Curiosities

Which one is the American English spelling: Cancelation or Cancellation?

Cancelation is the American English spelling.

Which spelling is more globally recognized?

Cancellation is more widely recognized due to its use in British English and other international contexts.

Which spelling is more commonly used in international legal documents?

Cancellation is more commonly used due to its global recognition.

How many L's does the British English spelling have?

Cancellation, the British English spelling, has two L's.

Are there any other American English words that drop a letter, similar to Cancelation?

Yes, like "color" instead of "colour", or "traveled" instead of "travelled".

Is there a difference in pronunciation between the two?

There's virtually no difference in pronunciation.

Do Cancelation and Cancellation have different meanings?

No, they both refer to the act of canceling.

If I write for a global audience, which spelling should I prefer?

Cancellation might be a safer choice for a global audience.

Are there any contexts where one spelling is more appropriate than the other?

Only in terms of audience preference, like American vs. British readership.

Is the difference between Cancelation and Cancellation just regional?

Primarily, yes. It's a matter of American vs. British English spelling.

Are the meanings of Cancelation and Cancellation interchangeable in contexts?

Yes, they both signify the act of canceling something.

Can I use Cancelation in British publications?

While it's understandable, Cancellation is the preferred spelling in British English.

Which one is considered the "original" spelling?

Cancellation is the older, more traditional spelling.

Does American English have any other variations like Cancelation?

Yes, American English often simplifies spellings, like "analyze" instead of "analyse".

Is it incorrect to use Cancellation in American English writing?

No, it's not incorrect, but Cancelation is the more common American spelling.

Share Your Discovery

Share via Social Media
Embed This Content
Embed Code
Share Directly via Messenger
Previous Comparison
Facetious vs. Sarcasm

Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

Popular Comparisons

Trending Comparisons

New Comparisons

Trending Terms