I first learned that 撤销 was the word for undo in computing terminology, for example to undo a database change or to undo a Git commit. However I've also encountered 撤消 for this same purpose.

According to cedict, 撤消 is a "variant of 撤销". Does that imply that 撤销 is the proper way and 撤消 is perhaps a common misspelling?

Are they both acceptable? Is one of them preferred?

  • 1
    撤销 is the preferred one. 撤消 is a modern misspelling but accepted for many people use it. Commented Sep 22, 2019 at 17:36
  • 消 is the common form meaning "dissapear" "eliminate". But 销 is used in many certain collocations such as 销声匿迹 销假 销毁 销刃 销沉 etc. Commented Sep 22, 2019 at 17:43
  • @TooskyHierot Would you like to write that up as an answer? Commented Sep 23, 2019 at 23:32

1 Answer 1


the standard form is 撤销 according to 现代汉语规范词典第3版

销 has the meaning to destroy, 撤销 is to destroy the current changes
消 has a passive meaning. Since 撤消 is an active action, 撤销 is more proper

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