In writing a paper in a Microsoft Word Document I wrote "omittance," which prompted an edit remark from the program telling me that I spelled the word incorrectly. I don't know why I felt like writing omittance when I know that the proper word is omission, but there it was on the page. And honestly the word looked like it should be a word considering I wanted to use omission in a future tense. In Google searching I found the use of omittance in the unabridged Merriam Webster dictionary; however I hesitate to accept anything from them. So I ask the experts here, is omittance ever an acceptable tense of omission or should I omit its use forevermore?

  • 2
    I've probably seen "omittance" used a half-dozen times in my lifetime, but I can't think of any context where I'd be tempted to use it.
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 25, 2017 at 12:06
  • "omittance" is not a tense of "omission." Both are nouns, and nouns don't have tenses. They're just separate words, and "omission" is more common than the other. More generally, I do not know of a single "-mittance" word that is more common than its counterpart in "-mission." Unless a particular "-mittance" word has a specialized meaning (like transmittance) I would advise always using the "-mission" word.
    – herisson
    Apr 25, 2017 at 12:14
  • I will note that the "-tance" word ending is fairly common in physics and techie jargon, and hence someone immersed in such jargon would find that form in some ways more comfortable. I don't believe that it's so common among the general public, however.
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 25, 2017 at 12:19
  • To gain admittance vs to be given admission?
    – mkinson
    Apr 25, 2017 at 12:25
  • 1
    OK, then it seems to me you have a misunderstanding of the relationship between admission and admittance. Neither word implies anything whatsoever about the tense of admit. Admission is the broader term, encompassing both figurative and physical entry; while admittance implies physical entry. It's almost always fine to use admission in place of admittance. If you're thinking you gain permission to enroll at a university before you gain physical entry to that university, you've latched onto an incidental circumstance of the usage of the terms, not part of their meaning.
    – John Y
    Apr 25, 2017 at 16:24

2 Answers 2


According to Merriam Webster, omittance is an obsolete form of omission. The graph shown in Collins supports this:

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And while the entry in OLED does not include such qualification, it's worth noting that it's omitted entirely from NOAD.

  • Great graph. I didn't know Merriam Webster's site had anything like that.
    – mkinson
    Apr 28, 2017 at 11:54
  • It's from Collins, not Merriam Webster. And Google has books.google.com/ngrams. Apr 28, 2017 at 12:06

There's no such word as 'omittance'. Omit should be more than adequate.

-ance describes a quality or state or an instance of one: arrogance, relevance. or it can be used to describe an action. By its very definition an omission has no quality or state. Why are you trying to define the quality or state of an omission?

  • So a word might not be omitted several times, and one might not want to discuss a particular instance of the word being omitted?
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 25, 2017 at 12:21
  • And how does this explanation work with remittance? It's not a quality or a state; it's money. Apr 25, 2017 at 12:31
  • @HotLicks As I stated in the comment above to Sumelic, the word omit is a verb. Omission might be a noun, but it is a result of when someone omits something.
    – mkinson
    Apr 25, 2017 at 12:34
  • yes, money has a quality and a state.
    – eatmywords
    Apr 25, 2017 at 12:35
  • 1
    Various dictionaries, doubtless after their panels have checked and deliberated, say that 'omittance' is a word. I wouldn't use it myself, but I'm not qualified to decide on matters of 'wordness'. Apr 25, 2017 at 12:36

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