Difference Wiki

Customise vs. Customize: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Updated on November 10, 2023
"Customise" and "Customize" both mean to modify something according to personal preferences, differing only in British (customise) and American (customize) spelling.

Key Differences

Customise and Customize are essentially the same word, differing primarily in regional spelling preferences. "Customise" is the British English version, while "Customize" is used in American English. Both terms refer to the act of altering or modifying something to suit personal preferences or needs.
The spelling variation between customise and customize reflects the general pattern of '-ise' versus '-ize' endings in British and American English respectively. While "customise" aligns with British English preferences for words like "realise" and "organise," "customize" aligns with American preferences like "realize" and "organize."
In terms of usage, both customise and customize are used in similar contexts and hold the same meaning. Whether a document uses "customise" or "customize" often depends on the intended audience's regional English variety.
The choice between customise and customize does not affect the meaning or understanding of a sentence. It's purely a stylistic preference based on regional English norms. For example, a British company might use "customise" in its communications, while an American company would use "customize."
In digital tools and software, the spelling of customise or customize often depends on the software's language settings. For instance, software set to British English will use "customise," while the same software set to American English will use "customize."

Comparison Chart

Regional Usage

Predominantly used in British English.
Predominantly used in American English.

Spelling Variation

Part of the British English '-ise' ending group.
Part of the American English '-ize' ending group.


Pronounced the same as "customize."
Pronounced the same as "customise."


To modify something to suit personal preferences.
To modify something to suit personal preferences.

Example Usage

"I will customise my car to reflect my style."
"I will customize my car to reflect my style."

Customise and Customize Definitions


To modify for personal use.
He customised his bike to improve performance.


To adapt something for a particular user.
She customized the app settings for easier use.


To personalize a service.
Customise your travel itinerary for a unique experience.


To modify according to personal taste.
He customized his phone's interface to his liking.


To adjust to specific requirements.
They customised the software for their business.


To personalize a standard item.
Customize your t-shirt with your own design.


To tailor to individual needs.
She decided to customise her study plan for better results.


To alter a product to suit specific needs.
They customized their home to be more energy-efficient.


To alter a standard product.
Customise your pizza with extra toppings.


To make or alter to individual or personal specifications
Customize a van.


Standard spelling of customize


To build or alter according to personal preferences or specifications.


Make to specifications;
I had this desk custom-made for me


To make to specifications.


Make according to requirements;
Customize a car


To make according to requirements.


Make to specifications;
I had this desk custom-made for me


Make according to requirements;
Customize a car


To tailor a service to individual preferences.
Customize your meal plan for better health.


Can customise and customize be used interchangeably?

Yes, they can be used interchangeably, but it's best to stick to one spelling style in a single document for consistency.

Does customise have the same pronunciation as customize?

Yes, both words are pronounced the same way.

When should I use customise instead of customize?

Use "customise" if you are writing for a British English audience and "customize" for an American audience.

Are there any variations in usage between customise and customize?

No, they are used in the same contexts and have the same usage patterns, differing only in regional spelling.

Is it incorrect to use customise in American English?

It's not incorrect, but it's unconventional. American English typically uses "customize."

Is customise used outside of the UK?

Yes, "customise" is also used in other countries where British English is the norm, like Australia and New Zealand.

Are there any style guides that prefer one over the other?

Yes, style guides typically align with either British or American English norms.

Are there other words with similar British and American variations?

Yes, many words have variations like "realise/realize" and "organise/organize."

Is there a difference in meaning between customise and customize?

No, there's no difference in meaning; they both refer to personalizing or modifying something.

Can American English speakers understand customise?

Yes, American English speakers can understand "customise" as it has the same meaning as "customize."

Does the choice between customise and customize affect grammar?

No, it doesn't affect the grammar of a sentence.

Can I switch between customise and customize in an article?

It's best to stick to one form for consistency in your writing.

Do digital tools use both customise and customize?

Yes, digital tools may use either spelling depending on their language settings.

Does using customize in the UK seem out of place?

It may seem unusual but is generally understood.

Should I correct someone using customise in American English?

It's not necessary to correct them, but you can suggest the more conventional "customize" for American English.

Do British English dictionaries include customize?

British English dictionaries may list "customize" as an alternative spelling.

Can the spelling affect the perception of a product?

Yes, the spelling can sometimes reflect the product's alignment with either British or American cultural norms.

Are there any rules for choosing between customise and customize?

The main rule is to consider your audience and the form of English they use.

Is one form older than the other?

Both forms have been in use for a long time, with the regional variations developing over time.

Are there any industries that prefer one spelling over the other?

The spelling preference often aligns with the predominant form of English used in that industry or region.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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