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Finalise vs. Finalize: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Updated on October 3, 2023
"Finalise" and "finalize" both mean to complete or conclude something, with "finalise" being British English and "finalize" being American English.

Key Differences

"Finalise" represents a word that is predominantly observed in British English, primarily referring to the act of completing, concluding, or making a decision or agreement final and unalterable. On the other hand, "finalize" is the counterpart used in American English, signifying essentially the same: reaching a conclusive point where something is determined or rendered complete. The variation in spelling, with “-ise” versus “-ize”, is a typical difference found in British and American English respectively.
In a context where an individual might say, "We will finalise the details tomorrow" in the UK, an American counterpart might express the same intent by saying, "We will finalize the details tomorrow". The meaning remains intact across these two versions, even as the spelling changes to align with regional language norms. Both words imply reaching a resolution or firm conclusion regarding the matter being discussed.
In documents or communication where adherence to British English is expected or necessary, "finalise" would be the suitable choice to convey completion or conclusiveness. Conversely, in settings where American English is the standard or where international audiences (who often engage with American English) are the target, "finalize" would be appropriately employed.
The importance of choosing "finalise" or "finalize" appropriately extends to maintaining consistency in language use across a document or communication. For instance, adhering to British English might also involve selecting "organise" over "organize", maintaining a coherent linguistic approach. When considering these two words in professional, academic, or formal writing, paying attention to the intended or expected language variant is crucial.
In summary, while "finalise" and "finalize" provide identical semantic value, serving to express the act of completing or making something definite, the selection between these two is generally guided by the linguistic norms of either British or American English. Knowing your audience, the context, and the applicable language standards will guide the appropriate use of either term.

Comparison Chart


British English spelling.
American English spelling.


To make something final or complete.
To make something final or complete.

Usage in Sentences

Used in regions adhering to British English.
Predominantly used in the USA.

Common Variants

Organise, realise, recognise.
Organize, realize, recognize.

Preferred in Regions

UK, Australia, New Zealand.
United States, Canada.

Finalise and Finalize Definitions


To bring something to a conclusion.
Let's finalise the project soon.


To conclude all discussions or negotiations.
We hope to finalize the deal by Friday.


To complete the last parts of a task.
I will finalise the report tonight.


To confirm or affirm a decision.
The board will finalize the new policy.


To make something officially complete.
We'll finalise the deal next week.


To make final or complete.
I will finalize the letter before sending it.


To settle on a decision.
We need to finalise the plans for the event.


To complete the remaining parts of a task.
She will finalize the design tomorrow.


To conclude discussions or negotiations.
We aim to finalise the talks today.


To put in final form.
Let's finalize our presentation slides.


Standard spelling of finalize


To put into final form; complete.


Make final; put the last touches on; put into final form;
Let's finalize the proposal


(transitive) To make final or firm; to finish or complete.
As soon as we get the plane tickets, we'll finalize our reservations with the hotel.


To prepare (an object) for garbage collection by calling its finalizer.


To put the last touches on; put into final form.


Make final; put the last touches on; put into final form;
Let's finalize the proposal


Is finalise correct in American English?

It's understood but finalize is standard.

Are finalize and finalise interchangeable?

Yes, but depend on American and British English usage, respectively.

Is finalize used in the UK?

Less commonly; finalise is standard.

Can finalise mean to confirm something?

Yes, it can imply making something definite or confirmed.

Can finalize refer to decisions?

Yes, e.g., "finalize a decision".

Is finalise used in Australia?

Yes, Australian English uses British spelling.

Is finalize used in Canada?

Yes, Canadian English often uses American spelling.

Is finalise formal language?

Yes, it’s used in formal and informal contexts.

Can I use finalize in an academic paper in the US?

Yes, finalize is standard in US academic writing.

Can I use finalise in legal documents?

Yes, especially in British English contexts.

Does finalize mean to end something?

Yes, it can imply bringing something to a conclusion.

Should I use finalize in international communication?

Often yes, as American English is commonly used internationally.

What is the noun form of finalize?


What is the noun form of finalise?

About Author
Written 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.
Edited 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.

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