Tonite vs. Tonight – Which Spelling Is Correct?

Is “Tonite” a word?

We think it’s common sense that “Tonight” is correct. But how about its variation, “Tonite”? Have you ever seen it and wondered if it was acceptable?

We want to find out what’s acceptable and what should be avoided about the words “Tonight” and “Tonite”.

Tonite vs. Tonight – Which Spelling Is Correct?

“Tonight” is the only correct and proper form for the word that indicates what happened or will happen during the night of the present day. “Tonite” became relatively common in the 1970s, but it’s very informal. You may see it in text messages or advertisements, but never in serious communication.

tonite vs tonight

Take a look at the examples below:

  • Tonight’s party will be wonderful.
  • Tonite’s party will be wonderful.
  • We’ll have an important meeting tonight, and you should come.
  • We’ll have an important meeting tonite, and you should come. (incorrect)

The examples contain two very different situations. In the first set of sentences, someone comments on the expectations for a party “Tonight”. That could be part of a very informal conversation, between friends or people very close to each other.

In that sense, although “Tonite” is incorrect, it’d not cause any embarrassment if that word was used in a text message or social media post. The audience would understand it’s an informal way of speaking, and that the author isn’t trying to be proper or correct.

The second set of sentences, on the other hand, talks about a meeting – which indicates a more professional conversation. In that scenario, to use the word “Tonite” would be incorrect and unacceptable. It could even be considered impolite.

We recommend you always use the word “Tonight” in its correct form. However, if you ever decide you want to use “Tonite”, be mindful of your audience and the message you’re attempting to convey.


“Tonite” is an incorrect form of spelling the word “Tonight”. It’s informal and only acceptable with a funny tone in very limited contexts. You can use “Tonite” in a social media post, for example. But you should never use it in a more serious conversation.

“Tonite” isn’t a word, according to The Cambridge Dictionary. It makes sense that’s not taken as seriously as “Tonight”.

We’ll go over some examples that use “Tonite. We’ll work with the premise that “Tonite” is incorrect, and follow each sentence with an adjusted version of it, including the proper word “Tonight”.

  1. Tonite you will get a chance to meet Peter. (incorrect)
  2. Tonight you will get a chance to meet Peter.
  1. Are we still meeting up tonite for happy hour? (incorrect)
  2. Are we still meeting up tonight for happy hour?
  1. It’ll be cold tonite, so bring a jacket. (incorrect)
  2. It’ll be cold tonight so bring a jacket.


“Tonight” is the correct word, properly spelled, to indicate what happened (or will happen) during the night of the present day. You can use this word both formally and informally, in any setting, to address any audience.

The Cambridge Dictionary defines “Tonight” similarly to how we did above.

Let’s go over some helpful examples:

  1. George, I can’t go out tonight.
  2. What’s on TV tonight? I’d love to watch something funny.
  3. We’re leaving tonight, so please be ready.
  4. What are we having for dinner tonight?
  5. Make sure to call him tonight.

Which Is Used the Most?

Considering that “Tonite” is sometimes used, even as an extremely casual alternative, we’re very curious to discover which one of the words we’re comparing is used more often.

In your opinion, do you think people say more “Tonight” or Tonite”? Let’s find out by taking a look at the graph from Google Ngram Viewer below.

tonite vs tonight usage

Thankfully, “Tonight” in its proper form is the most used word. “Tonite” barely makes it to the bottom of the graph – as we’re convinced any incorrect word should.

Although in some limited contexts “Tonite” wouldn’t cause anyone to be embarrassed, we recommend that you always use the correct form of the words, which in this case is “Tonight”.

Final Thoughts

Although you may have seen “Tonite” used in casual settings, like text messages or advertisements, “Tonight” is the only proper form to indicate what happened or will happen during the night of the present day. “Tonite” should be avoided. You should always use “Tonight.