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Which of the following words describes 鈥渟ky blue鈥?
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Origin of travel

Middle English (Northern and Scots), originally the same word as travail (by semantic change from 鈥渢o toil, labor,鈥 then 鈥渢o make a laborious journey,鈥 then 鈥渢o journey,鈥 a change that did not occur in French and other Romance languages). The spelling travel is due to a shift in accent in the 14th century; verb senses were first recorded in 1250鈥1300; noun senses were first recorded in 1400鈥50

usage note for travel

The word travel has come to exemplify a common spelling quandary: to double or not to double the final consonant of a verb before adding the ending that forms the past tense ( 鈥揺d ) or the ending that forms the present-participle ( 鈥搃ng. ) We see it done both ways鈥攕ometimes with the same word ( travel, traveled, traveling; travel, travelled, travelling ). As readers, we accept these variations without even thinking about them. But as writers, we need to know just when we should double that final consonant and when we should not. Because American practice differs slightly from British practice, there is no one answer. But there are well-established conventions.
In American writing, when you have a one-syllable verb that ends with a single vowel followed by a single consonant, and you want to add a regular inflectional ending that begins with a vowel, you double that final consonant before adding -ed or -ing : stop, stopped, stopping; flag, flagged, flagging. This principle also holds for verbs of more than one syllable if the final syllable is stressed: permit, permitted, permitting; refer, referred, referring. If that syllable is not stressed, there is no doubling of the final consonant: gallop, galloped, galloping; travel, traveled, traveling.
British spelling conventions are similar. They deviate from American practices only when the verb ends with a single vowel followed by an l . In that case, no matter the stress pattern, the final l gets doubled. Thus British writing has repel, repelled, repelling (as would American writing, since the final syllable is stressed). But it also has travel, travelled, travelling and cancel, cancelled, cancelling, since in the context of British writing the verb鈥檚 final l, not its stress pattern, is the determining factor. Verbs ending in other consonants have the same doubling patterns that they would have in American writing. An outlier on both sides of the Atlantic is the small group of verbs ending in -ic and one lonely -ac verb. They require an added k before inflectional endings in order to retain the appropriate 鈥渉ard鈥 sound of the letter c : panic, panicked, panicking; frolic, frolicked, frolicking; shellac, shellacked, shellacking. Canadians, of course, are free to use either British or American spellings.

OTHER WORDS FROM travel

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 漏 Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use travel in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for travel

travel
/ (藞tr忙vl) /

verb -els, -elling or -elled or US -els, -eling or -eled (mainly intr)
noun

Word Origin for travel

C14 travaillen to make a journey, from Old French travaillier to travail
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition 漏 William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 漏 HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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