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Featured Spelling and Grammar

On-Site or Onsite: Which Word is Correct?

The word on-site is often hyphenated. It is typically used to describe a facility or service provided at a particular location.

Apartment buildings frequently have an on-site gym. They often have on-site laundry facilities. Office buildings may have on-site childcare and dry cleaning.

Traditionally, on-site has been spelled with a hyphen but these days, it often appears without a hyphen. My company offers onsite Microsoft Excel training to government, non-profit, and private sector organizations.

Onsite vs On-site : Do You Need the Hyphen?

As the English language evolves, it’s becoming more common to see words that used to be hyphenated spelled without the hyphen. So, which is correct: onsite or on-site?

Black man wearing glasses appears to be confused

Let’s check in with the experts!

Merriam-Webster indicates that the correct spelling is with the hyphen (on-site). The Cambridge Dictionary includes both versions (onsite or on-site), while the American Heritage dictionary omits the hyphen (onsite).

Clear as mud, right?

Think about all of the variations that are available. Onsite, on site and on-site… Which spelling is correct? Is onsite one word… or two?

You’ll see examples of all of these variations but the trend seems to be moving toward omitting the hyphen.

How Do You Use Onsite in a Sentence?

Here are a couple of sentences that use the word onsite (and on-site).

Example #1: My company provides onsite Excel training for the Government of Canada.

Example #2: We found a vacation property with on-site fitness facilities.

My Thoughts on the On-Site vs Onsite Debate

It wasn’t that long ago that bumblebee and ice cream were both hyphenated. Now, bumble-bee and ice-cream look a little strange.

In closing, I would suggest that if you have an issue omitting the hyphen from onsite, maybe you should stop being such a crybaby (formerly cry-baby)!

By Michael Belfry

Working as a full-time training consultant, Michael provides Microsoft Office courses to government and private sector clients across Canada.