WMO spelling list

WMO spelling list

This list, based on the United Nations Editorial Manual, has been adapted for WMO use. 

Use “-ize” verb endings, and related “-ization” noun endings.

Examples: organize, organization; realize, realization; nationalize, nationalization; utilize,utilization; emphasize; maximize; minimize; optimize and so forth.

Exceptions: advertise, advise, analyse, catalyse, comprise, demise, despise, paralyse, revise, surprise, televise

Notes:
* Indicates a change from previous practice. 
** Indicates an exception to the twelfth edition of the Concise Oxford English Dictionary.
* ** Indicates both a change from previous practice and an exception to the twelfth edition.

A
about (for numbers, e.g. about 3 000; for dates, use “around”)
above-mentioned
abridgement 
acknowledgement
addenda
ad hoc
ad infinitum
advertise, advertisement, advertiser
advice (noun)
advise, adviser
aeroplane
aesthetic 
aforementioned
after: compound forms are closed;  exceptions: after-effect, after-image age 5, 6, etc. (also 5, 6, etc. years of  age)
age group (age group 15-19, etc.) 
aged 5 years or over
agribusiness
agrifood
agriscience
agritourism
agroecological 
agroecosystem
agroforestry
agro-industry
agrometeorology
agropastoral
aide-memoire (plural: aides-memoires)
air conditioner, air conditioning (noun)
air-conditioned, air-conditioning (adj.)
aircraft (singular and plural)
aircrew
airfield
airmass 
airspace 
air traffic control 
allot, allotted, allotment
aluminium
analogue (but analog in computer technology)
analyse
antenna (plurals: -ae (insects),  -as (aerials)) 
antimalarial
antimicrobial
anti-poverty
a posteriori
appal, appalled, appalling
appendices
a priori 
*Arabic numeral
around (use for dates, e.g. around 1990,   around December; for numbers, use  “about”)
audio tape (noun)
audiotape (verb)
*audiovisual
awareness-raising (noun and adj.)

 

B
backstop (noun and verb) 
back up (verb) 
backup (noun and adj.) 
backward (adj.)
backwards (adv.)
balance of payments (noun)
balance-of-payments (adj.)
balance sheet
bandwidth
baseline
base-year (adj.)
beforehand
behaviour 
benefited, benefiting
bi: compound forms are closed 
biannual (twice a year)
biased
biennial (every second year)
biennium (plural: **bienniums)
bio: compound forms are closed
bis
bookkeeping
bottleneck
break down (verb)
breakdown (noun)
breakthrough
break up (verb)
break-up (noun)
broadband (telecommunications) 
build up (verb)
build-up (noun)
bureaux (plural) 
burned (past tense and past participle)
buy-back (noun) 
by-catch
by-law
by-product
bystander

 

C
calibre
cancelled, cancelling
cannot 
canvas (cloth)
canvass (to solicit)
capacity-building (noun and adj.)
capital 
caregiver
care provider
caretaker 
carte blanche
carry over (verb)
carry-over (noun)
case-by-case (adj.) 
case study
catalogue 
catalyse
cathode ray tube
CD-ROM
centimetre (cm) 
centilitre (cl) 
centre, centred, centring (but US National Hurricane Center, etc.)
centrepiece 
*chairperson (not chair, chairman or chairwoman)
changeover (noun)
channelled, channelling
chargé d'affaires (plural: chargés)
checklist
checkpoint
check-up (noun)
chef de cabinet (plural: chefs de cabinet)
chlorofluorocarbons
clearing house
climate related (pred. adj.)
climate-related (attrib. adj.)
closed-end (adj.)
clue (not clew, except in nautical sense)
co: most compound forms are hyphenated: co-locate, co-payment, co-sponsor; exceptions include: coequal, coexist,   cofactor, cogeneration, cohabit
cold wave
colloquium (plural: colloquiums)
colour
communiqué
compel, compelled 
compendium (plural: compendiums)
comprise
confidence-building (noun and adj.) 
connection
consensus
cooperate, cooperation
coordinate, coordination 
copy-edit
copy editor
cornerstone 
corrigenda 
cost accounting
cost-allocation method 
cost-effective(ness) 
cost-efficiency, cost-efficient 
cost-of-living index
cost recovery (noun)
cost-recovery (adj.)
councillor
counsel (noun: singular and plural)
counselling, counsellor
counteract
*counterargument
counter-attack
counterbalance (noun and verb) 
counterclaim
counterclockwise 
countermeasure
counterpoint
counterproductive
countryside
countrywide
coup d’état (plural: coups d'état)
co-worker
creditworthiness
cropland
cross-country
cross-cutting 
cross reference (noun)
cross-reference (verb)
crossroad(s)
cross-section
cross-wind
curriculum vitae (plural: curricula vitae)
cut back (verb) 
cutback (noun)
cut off (verb)
cut-off (noun and adj.)
cyber: compound forms are closed

 

D
data (plural noun)
databank
database
data collection (noun)
data-collection (adj.) 
data processing (noun)
data-processing (adj.) 
dataset
daylight
daytime
death rate
*decision-maker
*decision-making (noun and adj.)
de facto
defence (but United States Department  of Defense)
de jure
demise
dependant (noun)
dependent (adj.)
depositary (person or entity with whom a  treaty is deposited)
depository (warehouse)
derestricted
desiccate
desktop
dewpoint
diarrhoea 
digitize
Director-General (but Director General  of IAEA)
disc (but disk in computer technology)
discreet (prudent)
discrete (separate)
dispatch
downlink
download
downdraught
downscale, downscaling
downstream
downward (adj. and adv.)
downwind
draft (text)
draught (air and animal) 
drinking water
drop out (verb)
dropout (noun)
dry land (land as opposed to sea) 
dryland(s) (type of ecosystem)
duststorm
dyke 
dysfunction, dysfunctional

 

E
e: all compound forms are hyphenated  (e.g. e-commerce)
early warning system
earmark
earth (soil)
Earth (planet)
eastward (adj. and adv.) 
eco-friendly
eco-label, eco-labelling
economic (financial, monetary, budgetary,   etc.)
economical (cost-effective, money-saving,   inexpensive)
ecosystem
ecozone 
El Niño
**e-mail
embargo (plural: embargoes)
embarkation
endeavour
endogenization
endogenous
end product
end result
*end user
end-user (adj.)
energy-efficient
enquire, enquiry (referring to a request for information) (cf. inquire)
enrol, enrolled, enrolling, enrolment 
en route
ensure 
enterprise 
environmentally friendly
equalled, equalling
Equator
equipped, equipping 
et al.
euro, euros (or use symbol: €)
every day (adv.)
everyday (adj.)
exaggerate
ex officio
exorbitant
expel, expelled, expelling
exposé
ex post facto
extended use-effectiveness, use-failure
extrabudgetary
*extracurricular
extrajudicial
extralegal
extraregional
extraterritorial 
*extratropical
eyewitness

 

F
fact-finding (adj.) 
fait accompli
fall off (verb)
fall-off (noun)
fall out (verb)
fallout (noun)
farmland
far-reaching
favour, favourable
feedback 
fibreglass
fibre-optic (adj.)
fibre optics (noun)
field trip
fieldwork, fieldworker
fine-tune 
first-hand (adj. and adv.)
fixed-period (adj.) 
flash flood
flavour
flow chart
flowsheet
focused, focusing
follow-through (noun)
follow-up (noun and adj.)
foodgrains
foodstuff
footnote
force majeure
forcible
forecast (noun, adj., past tense, past
 participle)
foregoing (preceding)
forest lands
forever 
foreword (to a book)
forgo (go without)
formulas (but formulae for mathematics)
forum (plural: forums)
forward (verb, adj. and adv.)
freelance
freshwater (noun and adj.)
front line (noun)
front-line (adj.)
fuelled, fuelling 
fuelwood
fulfil, fulfilled, fulfilling, fulfilment
*fundraising

 

G
gauge
gender-neutral
gender-specific 
geoengineering
girl child 
good-neighbourly (adj.) 
goodwill
gram (g)
grassland(s)
grassroots (noun and adj.)
grey
groundwater (noun and adj.)
groundwork
guidelines

 

H
haemorrhage
hailstone
hailstorm
halfway
harbour 
headquarters, e.g. WMO headquarters
headwater
heatwave
*help desk
heretofore
hiatus (pl. hiatuses)
high frequency (noun)
high-frequency (adj.)
high level (noun)
high-level (adj.)
high pressure (noun)
high-pressure (adj.)
high quality (noun)
high-quality (adj.)
high resolution (noun)
high-resolution (adj.)
historic (famous/important in history;  e.g. a historic event)
historical (of/concerning history; e.g. historical evidence)
home-made 
homeowner(ship) 
*home page 
homogeneous
honorarium (plural: honorariums)
honorary 
honour
human being
humankind
hydroelectric
hydrogeology
hydrometeorological
hydropower
hydrosystem
hygiene
hyper: compound forms are closed,  e.g. hypersensitive

 

I
ibid.
icebreaker 
ice storm
idem
imperilled 
inasmuch as 
income generation (noun)
income-generation (adj.)
in depth (adv.)
in-depth (adj.) 
index (plurals: indexes (lists in a book), indices (statistical))
indispensable 
information and communications  technology (ICT)
*infrared 
in-house
initialled, initialling
in kind (adv.)
in-kind (adj.) 
Inmarsat 
inquire, inquiry (referring to a formal investigation) (cf. enquire)
in-session (adj.)
in situ
install, installation, instalment
instil
institution-building
insure (take out insurance)
interactive 
inter-agency
inter alia
inter-American 
interannual
intercalibrate, intercalibration
intercommission
intercomparison
intercountry 
intercultural 
interdepartmental 
interdependence
interdisciplinary 
interdivisional 
intergenerational
intergovernmental
*intergroup
inter-industry
inter-institutional
interlink, interlinkage
interministerial 
Internet
inter-organizational 
interprovincial
interregional
interrelate 
intersectoral
intersessional
interspace
inter-State (between countries)
interstate (between States within a  country)
inter-unit
in toto
intra-agency
intracountry
*intranet
intraregional
intra-urban
in vitro 
inward (adj.)
inwards (adv.)
ipso facto

 

J
jet stream
Joule (J) 
judgement
judgemental

 

K
Kelvin (K) 
kilogram(s) (kg)
kilometre(s) (km)
kilovolt-ampere(s) (kVA)
kilowatt(s) (kW)
kilowatt-hour(s) (kWh)
know-how
knowledge-sharing

 

L
labelled, labelling
laborious
labour
labour-force (adj.)
labour-market (adj.)
laissez-faire
laissez-passer (singular and plural)
landholder
landlocked
landowner
landslide
land use (noun) 
land-use (adj.)
La Niña
laserdisc
lawmaker
law-making
lay off (verb)
layoff (noun)
lead time
learned (past tense and past participle) 
least developed countries
levelled, levelling
liaison
licence (noun)
license (verb) 
life cycle
lifelong
lifespan
lifestyle
lifetime
linchpin
litre (l)
log in, log on, log off, log out (verb)
login, logon, logoff, logout (noun)
long-lasting 
long-standing (adj.)
long-term (adj.)
long wave (noun)
long-wave (adj.)
loophole
low-level (adj.)
low-prevalence pattern
low resolution (noun) 
low-resolution (adj.) 
low-variant projections

 

M
machine-readable
macro: compound forms are closed;  exception: macro-unit 
mainframe
mainland
manoeuvre 
many-sided
marketplace
market town
mark up (verb)
markup (noun)
marshalled, marshalling
master plan
materiel
matrices
meagre
meantime
meanwhile 
medium-high/low
medium range (noun)
medium-range (adj.)
medium-sized (adj.) (e.g. small and
  medium-sized companies)
medium term (noun)
medium-term (adj.)
medium wave (noun)
medium-wave (adj.)
meeting place
megacity 
megajoule(s) (MJ)
megavolt(s) (MV)
megavolt-ampere(s) (MVA) 
member (e.g. of a working group)
Member (of WMO)
memorandum (plural: memorandums)
Meteosat
meter (instrument)
metre(s) (m) (unit of length) 
method-specific rates
micro: compound forms are closed;  exceptions: micro-environment,  micro-organism, micro-unit
mid-1990s, mid-2004
mid-air
midday 
middle-high/low
mid-latitude 
midpoint
mid-range
midseason
midsummer
midstep 
midterm
midway 
midweek
midyear
mileage 
millenniums
millimetre (mm)
millilitre (ml) 
millibar (use hectopascal (hPa))
minicomputer 
minimize
misspelled 
modelled, modelling
modus operandi
moneys 
moratoriums 
mores
mould 
movable
Mr
Ms 
much-needed (adj.)
mudslide
multi: compound forms are closed, with
  the following exceptions: multi-access,
  multi-cause, multi-centred, multi-client,
  multi-country, multi-donor, multi-ethnic,
  multi-hazard, multi-purpose, multi-skilled, 
  multi-stakeholder, multi-storey, 
  multi-user, multi-utility, multi-year
mutatis mutandis

 

N
nationwide
near-real-time (adj.) 
neighbour
nevertheless
next-generation (attrib. adj.)
night-time
nobody
non: compound forms are hyphenated;  exceptions include: nonconformist,
  nonfeasance, nonetheless
no one
north-east(ern)
north-west(ern)
northern hemisphere
North Pole
northward
note verbale (plural: notes verbales)
nowcast, nowcasting

 

O

odour 
offence
offensive
offhand
offline (adj. and adv.)
off season (noun) 
off-season (adj. and adv.)
offset
offshore
off site (adv.)
off-site (adj.)
offspring (singular and plural)
oilfield
old age (noun)
old-age (adj.)
one-sided

on-board (adj.)
ongoing
online (adj. and adv.) 
on-screen 
on site (adv.) 
on-site (adj.) 
onward (adj.and adv.)
op. cit. (preceded by name of author)
organization (but European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites)
organize
out of date (pred. adj.)
out-of-date (attrib. adj.)
outsource 
over: most compound forms are closed;  exceptions: over-represent, over age 5

 

P
panellist
paralyse
paramedical
passer-by (plural: passers-by)
payback (noun)
payday
payroll
per annum
per capita
per cent
percentage
per diem
peri-urban
per se
person-day, person-hour 
phyto: compound forms are closed
place name
plateau (plural: plateaux)
plebiscite 
plough
polar-orbiting (attrib. adj.)
policyholder
policymaker, policymaking 
postglacial
postgraduate
post-industrial
post-session 
post-war
power plant
power-sharing
practice (noun)
practise (verb) 
précis
preconceive
precondition
pre-construction
*predate
predefine(d)
predeployment
pre-empt
pre-inspection
pre-investment
pre-position but preposition (grammar)
pre-qualified, pre-register
preschool
pre-screened
pre-session
pretence
pre-war
prima facie
principal (first in rank) (noun and adj.) 
principle (fundamental truth) (noun)
printout
procès-verbal (plural: procès-verbaux)
program (computing only) 
programme
proofread, proofreader
pro rata
psycho: compound forms are closed
public-health (adj.)

 

R
radioactive
radiocommunication
radio frequency (noun)
radio-frequency (adj.)
radioisotope
radio wave (noun)
radio-wave (adj.)
rainband
rainbelt
raindrop
rainfall(s)
rainfed
rainforest
raingauge
rainstorm
rainwater (noun)
raison d’être
range area
rangeland(s)
rapprochement 
reactivate
readmit 
reaffirm 
realize
reallocate
real time (noun)
real-time (adj.)
reanalysis
reappoint 
rearrange 
reauthorize 
record-breaking (adj.) 
recost
recurvature
redeploy
re-elect
re-emphasize
re-employ
re-establish
re-evaluate
re-examine
referendums
refinance
regime
regionwide
reinforce
reinstate
reissue
remote-sensing
remotely sensed
reorganize
reorient
*reroute
results-based (adj.)
résumé 
reutilize
reversible
revise, reviser
rigorous 
rigour
risk assessment (noun and adj.)
risk reduction (noun and adj.)
riverbed
river water (noun)
road map
role
roll-call
rollover (noun) 
*Roman numeral
round table (noun)
round-table (adj.)
*routing
rumour
runoff
rural-urban (demographic movement)
rural/urban (comparison)

 

S
saltwater (noun and adj.)
sandstorm
sceptic, sceptical, scepticism
school-age (adj.) 
seabed
sea floor 
sea ice (noun)
sea-ice (adj.)
sea level (noun)
sea-level (adj.)
seaport
seasonal-to-interannual (adj.)
sea surface (noun)
sea-surface (adj.)
seawater (noun and adj.) 
**Secretary-General (plural:   Secretaries-General)
sectoral
self: compound forms are hyphenated
semi-annual
semicircle
semiconductor
semi-skilled
set back (verb)
setback (noun)
set up (verb)
set-up (noun)
sewage (waste matter)
sewerage (system of drains)
shelterbelt
shortcoming
shortfall
shortlist (noun and verb) 
short-lived
short range (noun)
short-range (adj.)
short term (noun)
short-term (adj.)
short wave (noun)
short-wave (adj.)
side effect
signal-to-noise ratio
sine qua non
sinkhole
sizeable
size class
skilful
slow down (verb)
slowdown (noun)
snow (compound forms are open, exceptions are snowflake, snowline, snowmelt, snowpack, snowstorm)
sociocultural
sociodemographic
* **socioeconomic
*sociomedical 
south(ern), south-east(ern), south-west(ern)
southern hemisphere
South Pole
South-South cooperation 
southward
spatial-profile models 
specialize
spelled
spillover (noun and adj.)
staff member
stakeholder
standby (noun and adj.) 
stand-alone
stationary (not moving)
stationery (paper)
status quo
steady-state equation
stock market
stockpile
stocktaking
storm surge
storm track
straightforward
streamflow
sub-account
sub-agenda
sub-amendment
subarctic
sub-area
sub-block
sub-branch
sub-centre
subcommission
subcommittee
subdistrict
sub-entry
sub-folder
*subgroup
subheading
sub-issue
sub-item 
sub-office
subparagraph
subpolar
subprogram (computing only)
subprogramme
subregion
sub-Saharan 
sub-seasonal
subsection
subsector
subsoil
subsurface
substandard
subsystem 
subtitle
subtotal
*subunit
sulphur
summarize
sun
Sun (the celestial body)
sunburn(ed)
sunlight
sunrise
sunset
sunshine
sunstroke
Sun-synchronous (attrib. adj.)
supersede
superstructure
supervisor
surface water (noun)
surface-water (adj.) 
symposium (plural: symposiums)
system-wide

 

T
takeover (noun) 
targeted, targeting
tariff
task force
taxpayer
televise
test-ban (adj.) 
therefor (for that purpose) 
therefore (consequently) 
third-party (adj.) 
thunderstorm
time-consuming
time deposit
time frame
time-horizon
time lag
time limit
timeline 
time period
timescale
time series
timespan
timetable
title page
ton (i.e. metric ton)
topsoil
tornado (pl. tornadoes)
totalled, totalling
towards
tradable
trade-off (noun)
traffic
*training ground
tranquillity
transatlantic
transboundary
transferable, transference
transferred, transferring
trans-ship, trans-shipment 
travelled, travelling
tsunami (plural: tsunamis) 
tunnelled, tunnelling
turn over (verb)
turnover (noun)
turn around (verb)
turnaround (noun)
two-faced
twofold
typesetting
tyre

 

U
ultra: compound forms are closed, e.g. ultraviolet, ultrasonic,
  except: ultra-high frequency (noun),
  ultra-high-frequency (adj.)
underreport, 
underrepresent
Under-Secretary-General
under age 5
*under way 
uni: compound forms are closed
unmistakable
update
updatable
updraught
upgrade
uplink
uproot
upstream
up-to-date (attrib. adj.)
up to date (pred. adj.)
upward (adj. and adv.)
urban-rural (demographic movement)
urban/rural (comparison)
usability
usable
use-effectiveness
use failure
use-failure rate
user-friendly 
utilize

 

V
value added (noun and adj.) 
value system
vapour
versus
via
*vice-chairperson
vice-president
vice versa
video camera
*videocassette
videoconference
videodisc
video link
videotape (noun and verb)
viewpoint 
vigour
vis-à-vis

 

W
wage earner
wage-earning (adj.)
wastewater
watchword
waterborne 
watercourse 
water-hole
water level
waterlogged
water related (pred. adj.)
water-related (attrib. adj.)
water resources (noun and adj.)
watershed
waterspout
water supply
water table
waterway
waveguide
wavelength
weather related (pred. adj.),
weather-related (attrib. adj.)
Web (World Wide Web) 
webcam
webcast
webinair
weblink 
webmaster
web page (noun)
web-page (adj.)
*website
weekday
weekend 
well: compound adjectives are hyphenated only when used attributively (e.g. a well-designed project; the project is well designed)
well-being
well water (noun)
westward
wetland(s)
whistle-blower
wholehearted
wideband
Wi-Fi
wildfire
wilful
windborne
windbreak
wind chill
wind field
wind gauge
* wind rose 
wind shear
wind speed
windstorm
windward
word-processing
word processor
workflow
workforce
work-hour
working hours
workload
work permit
workplace
workplan
workshop
workstation
worldwide
write off (verb)
write-off (noun)

 

X
X-ray