humorous vs humourous what difference

what is difference between humorous and humourous



From Middle English humorous (compare Medieval Latin hūmorōsus), equivalent to humor +‎ -ous.


  • (UK) enPR: hyo͞o’mərəs, IPA(key): /ˈhjuːməɹəs/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈhjuːməɹɪs/
  • Homophone: humerus


humorous (comparative more humorous, superlative most humorous)

  1. Full of humor or arousing laughter; funny.
    The waiters were so humorous – one even did a backflip for us, when we asked him.
  2. Showing humor; witty, jocular.
  3. (obsolete) Damp or watery.
  4. (obsolete) Dependent on or caused by one’s humour or mood; capricious, whimsical.
    • 1861, Elizabeth Gaskell, The Grey Woman
      I felt at this time as if I could have been fond of him too, if he would have let me; but I was timid from my childhood, and before long my dread of his displeasure [] conquered my humorous inclination to love one who was so handsome, so accomplished, so indulgent and devoted.

Usage notes

While the spelling humour is preferred over humor in British English, humorous is standard in both American and British English, and humourous is nonstandard.


  • (arousing laughter): amusing, funny
  • (witty): amusing, jocular, witty
  • See also Thesaurus:funny
  • See also Thesaurus:witty

Derived terms

  • humorously

Related terms

  • humor, humour




From humour +‎ -ous.


humourous (comparative more humourous, superlative most humourous)

  1. (chiefly Britain, uncommon, nonstandard) Alternative spelling of humorous

Usage notes

  • The Oxford Dictionary states that “the spelling humourous is regarded as an error” in both British and American English.


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