Renumeration vs. Remuneration – Which Spelling is Correct?

English is full of old, confusing words that have survived by becoming preserved in the protective amber of jargon.

Today, the meanings of many such words have been copied in other words, many of which sound more natural in everyday speech and are less confusing in most writing contexts. Still, depending on your audience, you will sometimes need to use technical jargon.

Remuneration is an old Latin word that you might not recognize if you aren’t familiar with the world of finance. Continue reading to learn more about it and its variant, renumeration.

What is the Difference Between Renumeration and Remuneration?

In this post, I will compare remuneration vs. renumeration. I will use the correct variant in several example sentences to give you an idea of how it should appear in context.

I will also show you how to use a mnemonic device that simplifies choosing remuneration or renumeration.

When to Use Remuneration

definition of remuneration definition of renumeration What does remuneration mean? Remuneration is a noun. It refers to money paid for work or a service.

Remuneration has many synonyms, including payment. Basically, it is any money that is given to someone as a form of compensation, including salary or wages and other amounts due.

Here are a few examples:

  • The bounty hunter was given significant remuneration for his services, in line with the amount specified ahead of time.
  • The Uber app makes remuneration for its services automatic, so that you can no longer figuratively stiff the cabbie.
  • “It is at least doubtful, even if not wholly incredible, that the respondents genuinely believed that the remuneration for Mr. Bouvier’s services was limited to the 2 percent fee that the respondents plainly knew they were paying him,” the judge in the case wrote. –The New York Times

Like so many English words, remuneration has roots in Latin, from words that mean generous and gift. Remuneration is usually used only in financial or legal contexts, and doesn’t make its way into everyday speech or writing very often.

When to Use Renumeration

define remuneration define renumeration What does renumeration mean? Remuneration is so rare, in fact, that most people who do use it in day-to-day life mispronounce it as renumeration. This mispronunciation is understandable: it’s a long, complex word, and since it deals with numbers, many people mistakenly switch the M and N.

Unfortunately, this mispronunciation has also led to misspellings. Remuneration is still the only correct version of this word, though.

As you can see from the graph below, which graphs renumeration vs. remuneration, remuneration vastly predominates renumeration. In fact, renumeration appears so infrequently that is hardly registers a blip over the last 200 years.

renumeration version remuneration

Merriam-Webster notes that the word renumeration technically means the act of counting something again, based on the meaning of the prefix re- and the verb enumerate.

Still, most spell-checkers flag renumerate as an error, and since most editors feel the same way, you should avoid using it.

Trick to Remember the Difference

Most of the time, you should avoid both of these words entirely. If you are talking about payments, you can simply use payments. This word is shorter and sweeter, and much less confusing to your readers (who probably mistakenly think the word is spelled renumeration).

If you are talking about counting something again, you should use recount instead.

Still, if you are writing about esoteric financial concepts, you should use remuneration correctly. Since M comes before N in both remunerate and money, it should be easy to remember that remuneration is so spelled.

Summary

Is it renumeration or remuneration? Remuneration is a noun that means the act of giving payments for work or services. Renumeration is a misspelling.

To summarize,

  • You might be better off avoiding both words when you can.
  • When you can’t remuneration is correct.
  • Renumeration is a spelling error.