What is the Difference between Supercede and Supersede: Clearing up the Confusion

Have you ever found yourself struggling to spell certain words? One of the most commonly misspelled words in the English language is “supersede.” Interestingly, many people spell it as “supercede” — with an additional “c” instead of the “s” in the middle. But what is the difference between “supersede” and “supercede,” and why do so many people get it wrong?

The truth is, “supercede” is not a word at all. It is a common misspelling of “supersede,” which means to replace something or someone with something else. The correct spelling has been around for centuries, but the incorrect spelling has persisted in popular usage. Perhaps it’s due to the similar sound of “sede” and “cede,” or maybe it’s just an easy mistake to make.

Regardless of the reason, it’s important to remember the correct spelling of “supersede.” Whether you’re writing an important email for work or just trying to improve your spelling skills, understanding the difference between “supersede” and “supercede” can help you avoid embarrassing mistakes and communicate more effectively. So the next time you’re unsure about which spelling to use, remember: “supersede” is the way to go.

The Origin of the Words Supercede and Supersede

Both supercede and supersede come from the Latin word “supersedeo,” which means to sit on top of or to be superior to. The verb was first introduced into English usage in the mid-15th century and originally spelled “supersede” with one “e.” However, in the 18th century, the French spelling “supercede” with two “e’s” began to gain popularity and is now commonly used as an alternative spelling.

Common misspellings of supercede and supersede

It’s common for people to misspell supercede and supersede, but it’s important to know the difference between the two words as they have distinct meanings. Here are some of the most common misspellings of supercede and supersede:

  • Supercede (misspelling of supersede)
  • Superscede (confusing the second “s” with a “c”)
  • Superseed (using “seed” instead of “cede”)
  • Supersede (misspelling as supercede or superscede)

As you can see, the confusion between the two words often centers on the placement of the “c” and the “s”, and the use of “cede” versus “seed”. It’s important to note that the correct spelling of the word is supersede, with an “s” and “cede”.

Examples of How to Use “Supercede” and “Supersede” in a Sentence

One of the most confusing things about the English language is when two words have similar spellings and pronunciations, yet they mean entirely different things. This is the case with “supercede” and “supersede.” Many people use these two words interchangeably, even though one of them is incorrect in most contexts. Let’s take a closer look at how to use “supercede” and “supersede” in a sentence, so you never make this mistake again.

  • Supercede: This is not a correct spelling of the word. It is often used by mistake, but it should never be used in formal writing. For example, “The new policy will supercede the old one” is incorrect. The correct spelling is “supersede.”
  • Supersede: This is the correct spelling of the word. It means to replace or take over from something that came before. For example, “The new policy will supersede the old one” is correct. Here are a few more examples:
    • The new technology will supersede the old system.
    • The law will supersede any previous agreements made.
    • The company decided to supersede the CEO with a new leader.

As you can see, “supersede” is a strong, decisive word. It implies that something is being completely replaced or taken over by something else.

It’s important to note that the word “supercede” may appear in certain dictionaries as a secondary or even third spelling of the word “supersede.” However, it’s still considered incorrect for most types of formal writing and should be avoided whenever possible.

Now that you understand the difference between “supercede” and “supersede,” you can confidently use the correct spelling in your own writing. Just remember that “supersede” is always the correct spelling for the word meaning “to replace or take over.”

Incorrect Spelling: Correct Spelling:
Supercede Supersede

Always make sure to double-check your writing for the correct spelling of “supersede.” Remember that using the incorrect spelling can make your writing appear unprofessional or careless.

Tips for remembering the difference between supercede and supersede

Many people find it difficult to differentiate between supercede and supersede as both words share similar spellings. To help you remember the difference between the two, here are some tips:

  • Remember the prefix – super means “above” or “beyond.” Therefore, supersede means “to replace something that is outdated or no longer necessary.”
  • Think of the letter C as a “pretender.” Supercede is spelled with a C which looks like a letter O from a distance. It tries to pretend that it’s the correct spelling, but it’s not.
  • Remember the pronunciation. Supersede is pronounced as “SOO-per-seed,” while supercede is pronounced as “SOO-per-seed.” Notice the difference of the letter “s” and “c” in sound.

With these tips in mind, you can avoid using the wrong spelling of supercede or supersede in your writing!

Historical usage of supercede and supersede in literature

The words supercede and supersede have been used interchangeably in literature for centuries, but there is a subtle difference in their historical usage. The term supercede was the earlier spelling, but it gradually fell out of use and was eventually replaced by supersede.

Here are some examples of the historical usage of the two words in literature:

  • In William Shakespeare’s play Richard II, written in the late 16th century, he uses the word supercede in Act III, Scene 3: “And all my mother’s pains, I will sweeten with the hope of this advantage, to rid me of the brat suppos’d to be my son, found with the harlotry of France, and hath the diadem of England superceded.”
  • In Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary of the English Language, published in 1755, he defines supercede as “to preoccupy; to make needless; to render useless.”
  • In Jane Austen’s novel Mansfield Park, published in 1814, she uses the word supercede twice: “In spite of all this, however, she soon settled down into composure and even cheerfulness, in no respect showing any unbecoming resentfulness towards her niece, to whom, internally, she acknowledged that she owed the preservation of her favourite daughter from irremediable wretchedness of marriage, perhaps from ruin.”
  • However, in modern literature, the preferred spelling is supersede. For example, J.K. Rowling uses the word in the Harry Potter series: “Arthur Weasley had to go into the office early to sort out a problem with broom importation; for some reason, the permits of a new flying carpet range were taking longer than usual to process, though no one was prepared to come right out and say that the Ministry was trying to stifle the new product, which was vastly superior, it must be said, to the old one and had the added bonus of being Self-Vacuuming. That was practically a magical quality in itself, in Ron’s opinion. As a result of Mr. Weasley’s early departure, the Burrow was in turmoil again. Wind and the crackling of Apparators woke Harry several times, and he shivered under his blankets, thinking of the last time the house had been invaded.

To summarize, the historical usage of supercede and supersede in literature has evolved over time. Although the two words were once used interchangeably, supersede has become the preferred spelling in modern literature.

Why it’s important to use the correct spelling

As a blogger, it’s essential to write with accurate grammar and spelling. Using improper spelling can compromise your credibility among your readers, and it could take away from the value of your content. Here are some reasons why it’s crucial to use the correct spelling of “supersede” or “supercede.”

  • Clarity: Using incorrect spelling leads to confusion and ambiguity, which can distort your message and make it hard to understand. The confusion caused by incorrect spelling can cause your readers to lose focus and interest in your content.
  • Professionalism: One of the most fundamental reasons why bloggers need to use the correct spelling is the need to present a professional image. Attention to detail – in this case, spelling – can enhance the quality of your writing and make readers perceive you as knowledgeable and trustworthy.
  • Respect for the audience: As a writer, you have to consider the audience’s perspective while conveying your message. If readers encounter careless errors, they may regard you as unprofessional and ignore your work. Using the correct spelling, on the other hand, shows that you respect your audience and are committed to weaving a meaningful relationship with them.

Supersede Vs. Supercede: A Comparison

Both these words sound alike. However, there is a crucial difference in their spelling, which shifts their meaning. Below is a table highlighting the differences in both spellings.

Word Definition Example
Supersede Replace or succeed someone or something that is outdated or no longer useful. His latest invention could supersede previous models, rendering them obsolete.
Supercede Incorrect spelling of supersede. He wrote “supercede” instead of “supersede.”

Using the wrong spelling could misrepresent your message, and it is likely to water down your credibility. Therefore, it is essential to use the correct spelling of “supersede” to ensure that your message comes across without any distortion.

Other commonly confused words with similar spelling to supercede and supersede

It’s not uncommon to come across words that sound alike or share a similar spelling with supercede and supersede. Here are some examples:

  • Seize vs. Cease: These two words share a similar spelling but have entirely different meanings. Seize refers to taking hold of something, whereas cease means to stop or come to an end.
  • Stationary vs. Stationery: Another pair of words that sound alike but have different meanings. Stationary means not moving or fixed in position, while stationery refers to writing materials such as paper and envelopes.
  • Adverse vs. Averse: These two words are often used interchangeably, but they have different meanings. Adverse means harmful or unfavorable, while averse means having a strong dislike or opposition to something.


While the words supercede and supersede may seem similar, it’s important to use them correctly in writing. Remember, supercede is an incorrect spelling of supersede. In addition, there are other words that sound alike or share a similar spelling but have entirely different meanings, so it’s important to be mindful of context when using them.

Word Meaning
Supercede Incorrect spelling of supersede
Supersede To replace or take the place of something or someone
Seize To take hold of something
Cease To stop or come to an end
Stationary Not moving or fixed in position
Stationery Writing materials such as paper and envelopes
Adverse Harmful or unfavorable
Averse Having a strong dislike or opposition to something

With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to use these words effectively and avoid common mistakes in your writing.

What is the difference between supercede and supersede?

Q: Are supercede and supersede two different words?

A: No, they are actually just different spellings of the same word.

Q: Which spelling is correct?

A: Supersede is the more commonly accepted spelling, but both are correct.

Q: Are there any differences in usage between the two spellings?

A: No, they can be used interchangeably without changing the meaning of the sentence.

Q: Is there any difference in pronunciation between supercede and supersede?

A: No, both words are pronounced the same way.

Q: Why are there two spellings for the same word?

A: The spelling supercede existed before supersede, but both have been in use for centuries.

Thanks for Reading!

We hope this article has helped clarify the difference between supercede and supersede. Remember, both are correct spellings and can be used interchangeably. Thanks for reading and we hope you visit again soon!