I often write medical copy and have always used 'gynecologic' as the descriptor, as in 'gynecologic oncologist' or 'gynecologic disorders.' However, I am editing something where the writer uses 'gynecological' in the same way, and cannot seem to find the rule that says that is incorrect. Can you guys help me?


Merriam-Webster gives both gynecologic and gynecological as an adjective. Therefore, whether you use one or the other is at your discretion, but I would advise being consistent with your decision.

However, the OED recognizes only gynaecological (note the added a), which suggests that gynecologic (or gynaecologic) is the nonstandard form of the word in British English.

Note that, in cases such as these where you are writing for a particular department or publication, it is important to ask the person(s) whom you are writing for which spelling is preferred.

  • 1
    And, if you are submitting to or writing for a particular professional organization, inquire whether they have a preference or an available style or vocabulary sheet. – Matt Gutting Jul 22 '15 at 20:00
  • 1
    Thanks guys! I checked the hospital's department name: Gynecologic Oncology, and am going to use that. Appreciated! – MRS30 Jul 22 '15 at 20:05
  • 1
    I wonder if this is a US-UK difference. I've never ever seen gynecologic, at all. It's always gynaecological (and with the extra a). – Andrew Leach Jul 22 '15 at 20:41
  • @AndrewLeach I actually looked for both words in the OED, and only gynaecological is mentioned. – Jake Regier Jul 22 '15 at 21:28
  • Do you actually mean the OED, or the online-available ODO? There's a big difference. – Edwin Ashworth Jul 22 '15 at 21:50

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.