Extravert vs Extrovert: How to Choose the Right Word as a Writer

Personalities are fascinating! Writers try their best to capture the essence of people’s character and that is applaudable.

Some words come up when personalities are mentioned and they are extrovert and extravert.

Recently, I saw a Facebook post with the word ‘extravert.’ The comments showed the writer had made a major typographical error. It got me thinking.

Which is the correct spelling: extravert or extrovert? Can they be used interchangeably or is there a difference?

While they may sound interchangeable, a subtle difference exists, and choosing the right word can elevate your writing.

This article will explain the etymology and usage of both spellings, providing valuable insights for writers seeking precision in describing extroverted characters.

Extra vs. Extro: The prefix

The root of the confusion is in the prefixes “extra” and “extro.” 

“Extra” comes from the Latin word “extra,” meaning “outside” or “beyond.” 

On the other hand, “extro,” is a combining word derived from the Latin verb “vertere,” meaning “to turn.”

The terms introvert and extrovert were first introduced by Carl Jung, a prominent psychologist, in his theory of analytical psychology. Jung proposed that people get their energy in different ways. 

According to Jung, extroverts gain energy from external stimulation, such as social interaction and activity. Conversely, introverts, find their energy depleted by too much external stimulation and require time alone to recharge.

Interestingly, Jung himself used the spelling “extravert” in his original works.

Extravert wasn’t a psychological term until Carl Jang introduced it. 

See also: Fourth vs Forth: How to Choose the Right Word as a Writer


An extravert is someone who turns outward. This description captures the whole essence of the extrovert personality. 

Extrovert implies a stronger outward movement, almost a turning outward.

Extravert vs. extrovert, which is it?

In reality, it is okay to use either extravert or extrovert. Use any of the spellings. 

Extravert is the psychological term for it. Psychologists use extravert.

Extravert vs Extrovert

Extravert is preferred to be used in psychology circles. Extrovert actually gained more acceptance for the following reasons;

Pronunciation: It is easier to pronounce with the ‘o’ than an ‘a.’

Analogy with “introvert”: Having a consistent “o” in both introvert and extrovert create a sense of balance.

Common usage: Over time, “extrovert” simply became more commonly used outside of psychology, therefore, many people adopted it. 

See also: What is 3rd (Third) Person Limited Point Of View?

Extrovert vs extravert Which Word Should You Use?

So, which word should a writer choose: “extravert” or “extrovert”? The answer depends on context.

When writing a formal psycholofical sciences article, using extravert may be a better choice of the word since it aligns with the field in which you are writing.

Secondly, if it is a general piece, mostly for fiction and non-fiction writing, extrovert should be the better choice. It is more acceptable and easily understood. 

If you’re aiming for a more historical or academic feel, “extravert” could provide a subtle touch of authenticity.

Ultimately, consistency is key. Choose one spelling and stick with it throughout your writing.

See also: Dialog vs Dialogue | Meaning, Examples & Difference


Personally, I prefer to use extravert. It sounds sophisticated and makes my work look formal with rich grammar. Imagine everyone writing extrovert and you come up with another word that means the same. Dang! You’ll be seen as the guru.

However, they mean the same and can be used for whatever cause you choose as a writer. “Extrovert” is the usual spelling while “extravert” is primarily seen in psychological writing.


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