Mold or Mould: What is the Difference?

JANUARY 3RD, 2019
Mold or Mould: What is the Difference?

Mold vs Mould?  Which one is correct?

Well, it really depends on where you live.

Americans spell it as mold while the British add the letter ‘u’ after the ‘o’, spelling it mould. Ultimately, both versions mean the exact same thing.

Similarly, the word color is another good example. The British spell it as colour whereas the Americans remove the ‘u’, spelling it as color. However, in the end, the meaning is equal.

Canadians and Australians most often favor the British spelling (mould).  However, ‘mold’ is commonly found in Canadian literature because of the shared border with the United States.

 

Mold or Mould? It depends on where you live.

 

Now that we have established that mold or mould are just different spellings of the same word, let’s answer the question “What does mold mean?“.

Mold or Mould Definition

What does mold mean?

Mold has a few different meanings and is used as a verb or a noun.

 

Example #1

As a noun, mold can be any fungus that grows on decaying or damp materials.

  • Mold started to grow under the hardwood floors after the flood.
  • The key to mold control is moisture control – The EPA
  • I found mold growing on the outdoor pillow I purchased in May.
Is there mold or mould growing on the outdoor pillow? It really depends on where you live.
Is there mold or mould growing on the pillow? It really depends on where you live.

 

Example #2

Mold can mean a form that is used to shape melted or liquified materials as they set.

  • The machinery injected hot melted resin into the mold to make a plastic chair.
  • I made special Christmas chocolates using the snowflake mold.
Chocolate mold or mould?
A chocolate ‘mold’ from Crate and Barrel

 

Example #3

As a verb, mold means to shape or influence something. See the examples below:

  • The coach will mold you into a superior athlete.
  • Mold your ideas into an action plan to move forward.

 

Definition of Mould

What does mould mean?

Mould is the British spelling of mold.

American English does not use mould (spelled with a ‘u’), and mold does not exist in British English. However, both versions are identical in their meanings.

According to writingexplained.org, mold started being used more prominently by the Americans around the year 1915 and the trend has continued until today.

Mold, never caught on in the UK, which is why they continue to use the original spelling (mould).

 

Examples of the word “mould” in the UK:

  • How do I get rid of damp and mould? – nhs.uk
  • The teacher will mould her students into fine young adults.
  • Pinwheel bow silicone cake mould (see photo below).
Mold vs Mould
A cake decoration ‘mold’ made in the USA but listed as a ‘mould’ on a UK website.

 

How to Remember Which One to Use:

We’ve got a pretty easy tip.  How do you spell the word color?

  • If you spell it as color: then omit the ‘u’ from mold.
  • If you spell it as colour: then you would add the ‘u’ to mould.

 

Mold vs Mould: How to remember which one to use
Mold vs Mould: How to remember which one to use

 

Summary of Mold vs Mould

What’s the difference?  Mold or mould are just alternate versions of the same word.

What does mold mean?  As a noun it can refer to fungi or a vessel/container for liquified material, or as a verb, it can refer to the action of influencing something.

When to use mold vs mould: The United States uses mold, whereas the UK community, along with most other English speaking countries, uses mould.

How to remember which one to use: Apply the same rules as you would for the word color vs colour.

 

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