Flier or Flyer?

by Craig Shrives

What Is the Difference between "Flier" and "Flyer"?

"Flier" and "Flyer" are easy to confuse because they sound identical (i.e., they are perfect homonyms).
  • "Flier" is a person or thing that flies. Historically, "flier" was used in American English to mean a leaflet, but nowadays Americans use "flyer" for a leaflet. For example:
    • I am a frequent flier due to my work. correct tick
    • My father and mother were both pilots, and my sister and I own a glider. We are a family of fliers. correct tick
  • "Flyer" is the preferred spelling in British English, and now also American English, to mean leaflet. For example:
    • I saw a flyer for your gig on Saturday. correct tick
    • Pin these flyers to the notice board. correct tick
flier or flyer?

More about "Flier" and "Flyer"

As they sound identical, the words "flier" and "flyer" are homonyms (specifically, homophones). In the past, "flier" and "flyer" were used interchangeably to mean someone or something that flies, but a distinction between these two words has emerged over the last century.

Flier

The noun "flier" describes something or someone that flies. In the United States, "flier" is still occasionally used to denote a leaflet.

Example sentences with "flier":
  • I'm not a nervous flier. I realize it's still the safest form of travel. correct tick (Actress Cheryl Ladd)
  • I've always been a good flier. I love the whole experience. correct tick (Actress Erika Christensen)

Flyer

The word "flyer" is a noun meaning leaflet, pamphlet, or handbill.

Example sentences with "flyer":
  • When someone hands you a flyer, it's like they're saying: "Here you throw this away." correct tick (Comedian Mitch Hedberg)
  • The flyer has plenty of information about the upcoming concert. correct tick

Remembering "Flier" and "Flyer"

  • A flier is something that flies.
  • A flyer can be used to swat a fly.

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See Also

trier or tryer? adverse or averse? affect or effect? Ms., Miss, or Mrs? bare or bear? complement or compliment? dependant or dependent? discreet or discrete? disinterested or uninterested? e.g. or i.e.? envy or jealousy? imply or infer? its or it's? material or materiel? poisonous or venomous? practice or practise? principal or principle? tenant or tenet? who's or whose? List of easily confused words

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