no one and no-one - the difference

by Craig Shrives
The Quick Answer
Spell "no one" without a hyphen. i.e., not "no-one."

No Hyphen

The formal spelling of "no one" is without a hyphen. For example:

no one no-one
Correct spelling of no one
(Sign in US laundry room)

Hyphen Becoming Acceptable

Over the last half a century, the "no-one" version has become more popular. Some grammarians condone the hyphenated version, claiming it eliminates ambiguity with "no one" as in "No one person can overcome her power." However, the times when there would be true ambiguity are very seldom. Here is one example:
  • No one can will work.
  • (Is the subject "No one can" or "No one"?)
Currently, the "no one" version is about 20 times more popular than the "no-one" version [evidence].

"No One" is Always Right

There is notable leniency on how to write "no one"; i.e., using a hyphen does not constitute a grammatical howler. However, let's be clear on this, the correct spelling is "no one."

"Noone" is Never Right

"Nobody" and "nowhere" have become single words. However, "no one" has not. "Noone" is wrong.

See Also

adverse or averse? affect or effect? appraise or apprise? avenge or revenge? 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?
Common errors and FAQs Easily confused words List of easily confused words