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Is there a difference in meaning between the spellings 'realise' and 'realize'? I ask this because my spell-checker, which is set at 'English English' doesn't seem to have a problem with 'realize'. And my English-Dutch dictionary doesn't mark the 'z' spelling as 'American English'. DirkvdM 19:35, 12 August 2005 (UTC)

No difference in meaning -- it's the same word. Typically, both -ise and -ize endings are accepted in (modern) British English. Does your dictionary distinguish any other -ize words as being exclusively American? 00:26, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

Meaning 7 (to become aware)Edit

In modern usage, this is by far the most common meaning of the word, and deserves to be re-ordered to the top of the list. Furthermore, it is incorrect to state that "realise" must be followed by "that" in this sense; take as an example, "I realise how important this must seem to you." 00:26, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

A good point. I changed it to reflect this.  Andyluciano 03:13, 21 May 2006 (UTC)


The OED online doesn't seem to recognize the -ise ending, they only have an entry for -ize.

Oxford Dictionary spellingEdit

Please note the following Oxford English Dictionary qualifier. Both versions are acceptable as is backed up by my hard copy Sixth Edition (1976) and my current edition. I think this section needs to be qualified properly, namely by stating which major dictionaries (US, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand) accept what, rather than propagating broad generalisations. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 06:06, 29 August 2013 (UTC)

Incidentally, -sche, I was taught to spell it as 'realize' in Australia in the 60's. My Sixth Edition Oxford Concise Dictionary actually lists the '-ize' as the first instance, with '-ise' as the alternative instance. Having quickly perused the net, there appears to be a misnomer that '-ize' is an Americanism/North Americanism which is blatantly incorrect. I suspect that it has evolved as a reflection of the popularised spelling used by the mass media in the UK, Australia & New Zealand. I'll have a better look into it in the next few days as I don't have time at the moment. Cheers! --Iryna Harpy (talk) 06:54, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
See the long excerpt from the OED at w:Oxford spelling. The '-ise' forms which are common in non-Oxford British English are also admitted as variants of '-ize' into the OED, but the classical/definitive Oxford spelling remains '-ize'. This makes it very inaccurate and misleading to call the '-ise' the "Oxford spelling". Incidentally, the distinction between Oxford and non-Oxford British English isn't made on this entry alone, so if there needs to be a change (e.g. to replace the {{qualifier}}s with a template that would link to w:Oxford spelling), it should be made more broadly... - -sche (discuss) 20:18, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
Return to "realize" page.