Most dictionaries spell the compound noun "race car" as two separate words, but there is also "racecar" as one word on a lot of websites. My question is: is it ok to use it as one word "racecar"?

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    Most editors will use a particular dictionary that has been chosen as the standard style for their audience. If you have such a dictionary, and that's the guideline being used, then go by its entry rather than picking something subjectively. But if you don't have such guidance, then you're free to pick whichever spelling you like. Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 17:45
  • @Jason: l totally agree woth you. Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 19:41

2 Answers 2


Racecar is about skirting the line of dropping the space. Soon it will be like database, telephone, auto mobile, or to-morrow. So, signs point to effectively 1 word for early adopters, though it is still listed as 2 in some references.

  • Is there any logic except that dictionary authors decided (based on their personal taste?) to accept one form vs another in their dictionary? Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 12:48

Google Books shows all three usages, race car, racecar and race-car, with the two separate words usage by far as the more common.


(noun) racing car.

(Random House Unabridged Dictionary)

So, yes it is correct, though less common than race car.

  • user070221: I appreciate your answer. A friend of mine told me that "racecar" and "racing car" are usually used in American English, while "race car" in British English. Is this correct? Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 8:21
  • @MidoMido Your friend is probably correct, most usages of racecar appear to be from AmE books.google.com/ngrams/….
    – user 66974
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 8:25
  • while racing car is used both in BrE and AmE books.google.com/ngrams/…
    – user 66974
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 8:25
  • @MidoMido As Brit I would say that your friend has it the wrong way round. Very few, if any, British people say 'race car' which I think of as American.
    – BoldBen
    Commented Oct 11, 2018 at 0:58

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