Poll: Is 'alright' an acceptable word?

Is 'alright' an acceptable word?


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This Poll:

  • Votes: 3,365
  • Comments: 45
  • Added: August 2003



I would recommend using 'all right' in writing.


The Cobuild dictionary recognises it.


The word,ideally speaking,is supposed to exist as an adverbial phrase(more than one word) which denotes emphasis.To this end,it should read "all right"...all of a particular thing has/have been parfectly put in place.It means,on the other hand,that ...all is right"


Alright is a supposed compound word of all right. All right means all correct. The way we use alright is, its ok. It alright. However, such a word does not exist.


"Alright" isn't a word.


As Dalriata stated so directly, "Alright isn't a word." It may be someday, but it is not one yet.


There's no way that I would ever use "alright" in writing. It's completely unprofessional and makes you look stupid.


I agree with Ace; you will never catch me using "alright" in my writings. It's sloppy and a bit lazy. I mean, honestly, how hard is it to put one more L and a space?


On the analogy of "altogether", "already", "almost" and so on, I see no problem with "alright". Though there is (or should be) a distinction between "all right" and "alright", just as there is (or should be) between "altogether" and "all together"-- and don't get me started on my "every day"/"everyday" hate.


What do you mean "is alright an acceptable word"? This is so wrong. It should not be a word because you can't make two words one without an apostrophe, with the exceptions being all ready and already; but even these two words have different meanings. You can't have two words that mean the same thing, with different spellings!


This is how I work it: Alright as in okay, or good,ex. "We are doing alright" But All right as in all not wrong. ex. My test answers were all right. So they both work.


How can we make, "ain't" a word but "alright" is not allowed. Why do we only cater the ignorant?


alright is a perfectly acceptable word. It is the way our language has evolved and if some people can't deal with that they should just not use it. there's really no point being uppity about one of the most informally used words in our language.


Is alright a word? No. Is it used commonly it today's writing practices? Yes. Does that make it right? No. Do I use it? Unfortunately, yes. Will I continue to use it? I am still debating that, but I doubt it, not until it becomes a true word. Ain't is not a word. It is a slang term only. There is a huge difference. But then, anyways is acceptable, so what the heck?


Alright is a word according to the Webster's dictionary.


all right - used as an adjective means "unhurt" or "satisfactory". If used as an adverb, it means ":well enough." All right should be written as two words. (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2003)

English teacher

it's just like writing alwrong...we wouldn't write that, so why would anyone think alright is a word?


"it's just like writing alwrong...we wouldn't write that, so why would anyone think alright is a word? "

Following that logic, "altogether," "almost," and "already" aren't words.

Dictionaries define words, the populace creates them. If the populace decides that "alright" is a word, it's a word. To argue otherwise is to stifle the evolution of language.



I agree with Jim on this. It's a matter of context. Examples that feel wrong (to me):
A) What did you think of the movie?
B) It was all right.

A) How did you do on the quiz?
B) I got it alright.

In the first example, it seems more suitable, in my opinion, to use "alright", while the second example feels completely wrong.

Using the logic that we would say "alwrong" doesn't work. We say "altogether", but don't say "alapart". We say "almost", but not "alsome", "allittle" or "alfew". And saying "already" isn't the same as saying "all ready":

A) Mom got back from the store.
B) All ready?

A) We've packed our bags and are already to go.

Both of those are wrong. The meanings are different, though they may be similar. Just as "alright" might not share the same contextual meanings as "all right".

And why is it alright to use "ok", "o.k." and "okay", but it's not all right to use "alright"? The least correct version would be "okay", based on the origin of the word, but it's the version I use most of the time, personally considering "ok" to be lazy. :p


I use 'alright' fairly often, and but never in situations where 'all is right'. I believe the definition is in the context, but it never should cross the line of meaning 'all correct'.

How was your day? / It was alright. (mediocre)
How was the concert? / It was alright! (fantastic)
I'm going to the store. / Alright. (okay)
Alright, what's going on here? (excuse me/attention here)

In none of these examples would the phrase 'all right' be grammatically correct as there was nothing to be 'all correct', or that would not have been the intended meaning. However, 'alright' is acceptable as it doesn't really mean 'all right'.

Just my perspective, of course. Growing up, 'alright' was always a completely acceptable word. Maybe it's regional. I don't know. :p


Although it's not commonly accepted as a 'real' word, 'alright' has a distinct meaning and usage from 'all right'. As pointed out by another poster, 'alright' is used to mean "it's OK" or "it's acceptable", but not necessarily all correct and certainly not perfect. 'All right', on the other hand, is used adverbially to denote correctness or a lack of error/problem. To put it simply, 'alright' is softer and requires a lesser degree of acceptibility than 'all right'. In the right context, this English teacher says that 'alright' is all right, but generally it's just alright.


I believe that "alright" is not a word. However (Hope you don't mind that I quote you, Matthew) "Following that logic, 'altogether,' 'almost,' and 'already' aren't words."
I think that these words evolved from "all together," "all most" (? on that one) and "all ready" and eventually took on different meanings and got added to the dictionary.


"Alright" IS an acceptable word and is needed since it means something completely differerent from "all right". This is a simple case of the English language evolving amidst the miriad examples of it being corrupted and eroded. I like to use the example of the word "eberyday" versus "ever day". They also have distinct meanings. 'Sweeping and mopping are my EVERDAY duties because I do them EVERY DAY"

John Schofield

Our family, friends and business associates have been using "alright" over at least the last 100 years to mean "free of problems". It has never included "all" (i.e. every instance) in its meaning - "all right" to us is a totally different expression and we would not use it in the same context. Therefore I insist that I know what I mean when I say "alright", it must be counted as a correct word and it has a quite different meaning from "all right". Examples are: "Are you feeling alright?" - "Will it work alright?" - "Alright, I'll do that" - "Alright, now please listen to my version" - "It will be alright on the night". The word "all" would not be appropriate in any of these cases and "right" would often not apply either.

Internet god 76

Not a word. never

Jez Burns

Is it a word yet?

P Belski

No! Alright is never all right! I remember my teachers drilling "Al might be right, but alright is never right." And "alright" isn't a compound word. Allright would be a compound word.


It's not a word. Neither is nowadays. If I were your teacher I'd give 1061 of you F's.


"Alright" is NOT a word!


Even though "alright" is not added to the dictionary yet, it definitely should be. A lot of people are using it. Kind of seems pointless NOT to put it in there.


I really don't know what you're all going on about - it IS in the dictionary and IS a word.

Conan Kirkpatrick

In modern English, both forms are used very differently when rating satisfaction. The form 'alright' is actually used in a negative sense, implying 'borderline acceptable' at best. Examples: "Do you like techno music?" - "It's alright." or "Sorry I can't do more for you." - "Alright. Thanks, anyway." The form 'all right' is used in a positive sense, implying 'acceptable' and better. Examples: "Congratulations on passing your test." - "All right!", or "How are the kids?" - "They're all right. Thanks for asking."


"Alright" seems to be "all right" all along, but written phonetically rather than "correctly." (I'm thinking of "renaissance" and "renascence," "through" and "thru," "night" and "nite," "ghoti" and "fish.") The two expressions seem to mean the same thing. In the section "Good Usage Versus Common Usage" the Chicago Manual advises to use "all right," never "alright"; which implies that "all right" is the correct form of whatever "alright" was meant to convey. Anyway, in writing, "all right" is acceptable if a bit awkward, and "alright" still is not.


Not a word, ever. I mean I understand how many of us may feel that a lot of people are using "alright" these days, but then again people aren't so much concerned about spelling and grammar as they were before. And you may have been hearing "all right" being spoken, not reading it...on that point, you will never read it off any properly written, properly edited English document.

vanessa hoey

the reason why I think it is not a word is because "Alright" isn't a word. Its often mistaken in writing an essay. The word "alright" is just a contraction just like saying "can't, don't, wanna. . ." my teacher says its a grammatical error .There is no such thing. But, there is such thing as "all right" and it sounds formal. See the difference? If not, here's what I mean. When you look at a text message or a slogan, its just a contraction for saying as a slogan or as to being funny but you will NEVER EVER find a word in writing that uses a contraction.


All right is the ONLY grammatically acceptable word, in this case. The two words are used in the same contetxt, so for the of you who say that the two words have different meanings, you are wrong. The word was introduced to the English language in the 20th century while all right has been in the language forever.

Carlos Mora

Yes, because is a really useful world

Adam Aukamp

Alright is an acceptable word. Words in the English Language change over time, and I think alright is used enough to be considered a word.


Like many have said before me, if the word is widely used and has a distinct meaning (and is not some slang nonsense), then it should be considered a word. People recognize it as being a synonym for 'satisfactory' or 'acceptable' as opposed to something being 'all right' as in "all is as it should be". If you look at it this way, both have the exact same meaning. Being satisfactory is correct, right? It's alright if 'alright' is a word, that's how this language was created. I know that this question was posted a decade ago, but this is for all of those Google searchers who don't know what to think about the subject.


Without being too passionate on the subject, one would have to be devoid of any knowledge on language evolution to realize that the usage of "alright" is bringing it to an official status if it hasn't already. The two words "all right" being combined into "alright" is no problem in my eyes though I think it should be considered a contraction, not a word in it's own right. Even so, I wouldn't use it in formal writing. So long as the proper form of the phrase is known, I think it's alright.

Christopher Benson

This and many similar discussions miss two points. In 1. British English "alright" and "all right" don't mean the same thing.
2. "Although rare, "alright" was attested to occasionally in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Bythe 20th century it was good enough for an Ivy League School in America on page 306 of this:

Andrew Rolls

Ever since I learnt to read(65 years ago), I have come across the word 'alright' in many books and other publications as a more literate version of 'ok'.
'All right' is definitely not the same as 'alright' (IMHO).. there's a definite subtle difference between the two. And.. 'alright' LOOKS right, for the meaning that(as I understand it) it conveys! :-)
However.. Reasonably recently I've been told that 'alright' isn't an actual word. I beg to differ! Grrrr.. :-D


Why wouldn't it be?


You mean Icant be fussy about alright anymore? Well, allrighty then. LOL.

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