How to Spell Holiday

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  • 2024-02-14 00:00:00
  • 11 min read

In this article, we will explore the correct spelling of the word "holiday" and provide insights into common mistakes, its definition, etymology, and more. Whether you're writing a greeting card, an essay, or simply curious, understanding the intricacies of this word can enhance your mastery of the English language.

Correct Spelling of Holiday

The correct spelling of the word we are focusing on is holiday. It is often misspelled due to incorrect phonetic interpretations or confusion with similar words. The word holiday is comprised of two syllables: hol-i-day, which makes it relatively straightforward to spell once broken down.

How to Remember the Correct Spelling

One effective technique to remember the spelling is by breaking it down to its phonetic components, 'hol' + 'i' + 'day.' Alternatively, associating the word with common phrases or memories, such as "holiday season," can also reinforce the correct spelling in your memory.

Common Spelling Mistakes

  • Holliday - Adding an extra 'l' is a common mistake due to mishearing the word.
  • Holoday - Substituting 'i' with 'o' is incorrect and changes the pronunciation.

These errors often arise from incorrect phonetic transcription or typing errors. Remember, only one 'l' and the vowel 'i' are correct.

Definition and Etymology of Holiday

The word holiday refers to a day free from work, especially a day of celebration or recreation. The term originates from Old English 'hāligdæg,' composed of 'hālig' meaning "holy" and 'dæg' meaning "day." Over time, it evolved to denote periods of leisure and relaxation, not just religious observances.

Transcription of Holiday

In phonetic terms, holiday is transcribed as /ˈhɒl.ɪ.deɪ/ for British English and /ˈhɑː.lə.deɪ/ for American English. Notice the slight variation in vowel sounds between the two dialects, which can sometimes lead to differences in spelling preferences, though not in this case.

Examples of Using Holiday

  • We're planning a beach holiday next summer.
  • The national holiday is observed with fireworks and parades.
  • Many companies offer additional holiday pay for working during major holidays.


What does the word mean? 
A day of festivity or recreation when no work is done.

Words Closely Related: vacation, day off, break.

Synonyms: break, vacation, leave, recess.

Difference in American and British Versions

The spelling of holiday remains the same in both American and British English. However, the word's usage can differ; in the UK, "holiday" often refers to what Americans would call "vacation." Despite these semantic differences, the fundamental spelling and pronunciation are consistent across English-speaking regions.

Academic Dictionaries

  1. Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary.
  2. Cambridge Dictionary.
  3. Oxford English Dictionary.

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