American/British Dictionary

 

This listing provides a guide to some common words that are spelt differently when using either American or British versions of the English language. American spelling is now used when writing the Derwent abstract.

As a general rule the following apply:

  • Words ending in 'ise' should end in 'ize'
  • Diphthongs (e.g. encyclopaedia or oestrogen) are always shortened to a single letter which best represents the phonetic sound of the diphthong (e.g. encyclopedia and estrogen)

There are many dictionaries available via the Internet; one listing of these can be found at http://www.dictionary.com/Dir/Reference/Dictionaries/

American Terms   British Terms
airplanes
aluminum
anesthetics
anesthetizing
analyzed
analyzers
analyzing
anodizing
armor
armored
armoring
atomizers
atomizing
calibers
calipers
carbonization
carburetors
cauterization
cauterizing
center
centers
centering
color
colored
coloring
cookie
cross-linking
crystallizing
curb
cyclization
decolorizing
demagnetizing
deodorizing
depolarizing
depolymerizing
desensitizers
desulfurizing
diaper
dikes
downspouts
economizers
elevator
encyclopedias
equalizing
fertilization
fertilizer
fertilizing
fiberglass
fibers
flashlight
flavoring
fluidized
fluidizing
galvanizing
gasoline
graphitizing
gynecology
harbor
hemorrhoids
homogenizing
immobilized
immunizing
ionization
ionized
isomerizing
jewelry
land mine
localizing
magnetization
magnetizing
malleableizing
maneuvering
matchetes
mercerizing
metacenters
metalizing
mineralization
minimizing
miter
mollusks
molded
molding
molds
multicolor
nebulizers
neutralization
neutralizing
odor
optimization
oxidizing
ozonizing
pajamas
parlor
pasteurizing
plasticizers
plowing
polarization
polarized
polymerizable
polymerized
practicing
program
pruning shears
pulverizing
recognizing
selvage
sensitizing
stabilizers
sterilization
streetcars
subsidizing
sulfates
sulfites
sulfur
synchronization
synthesizing
tableting
theater
tire
unauthorized
vaporizers
vapor
vulcanizing
windshields
aeroplanes
aluminium
anaesthetics
anaesthetising
analysed
analysers
analysing
anodising
armour
armoured
armouring
atomisers
atomising
calibres
callipers
carbonisation
carburettors
cauterisation
cauterising
centre
centres
centring
colour
coloured
colouring
biscuit
crosslinking
crystallising
kerb
cyclisation
decolourising
demagnetising
deodorising
depolarising
depolymerising
desensitisers
desulfurising
nappy
dykes
downpipes
economisers
lift
encyclopaedias
equalising
fertilisation
fertiliser
fertilising
fibreglass
fibres
torch
flavouring
fluidised
fluidising
galvanising
petrol
graphitising
gynaecology
harbour
haemorrhoids
homogenising
immobilised
immunising
ionisation
ionised
isomerising
jewellery
landmine
localising
magnetisation
magnetising
malleabilising
manoeuvring
machetes
mercerising
metacentres
metallising
mineralisation
minimising
mitre
molluscs
moulded
moulding
moulds
multicolour
nebulisers
neutralisation
neutralising
odour
optimisation
oxidising
ozonising
pyjamas
parlour
pasteurising
plasticisers
ploughing
polarisation
polarised
polymerisable
polymerised
practising
programme
secateurs
pulverising
recognising
selvedges
sensitising
stabilisers
sterilisation
trams
subsidising
sulphates
sulphites
sulphur
synchronisation
synthesising
tabletting
theatre
tyre
unauthorised
vaporisers
vapour
vulcanising
windscreens