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Internalise vs. Internalize: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Updated on January 25, 2024
"Internalise" and "Internalize" mean the same: to incorporate within oneself ideas, attitudes, or behaviors. The difference is in spelling: "Internalise" is British English, "Internalize" is American English.

Key Differences

The words "internalise" and "internalize" refer to the process of integrating beliefs, attitudes, or behaviors into one's own thinking and actions. The only distinction between them is their spelling variation, which reflects the different conventions of British and American English.
In terms of usage, "internalise" is commonly used in British English-speaking countries, while "internalize" is preferred in American English. Both words are used in psychological and sociological contexts to describe the assimilation of external concepts into personal belief systems.
The spellings "internalise" and "internalize" highlight the subtle differences in English language usage across regions. These variations do not affect the meaning or usage of the word in sentences; they simply align with the spelling norms of the respective English varieties.
"Internalise" might appear in British publications and academic papers, while "internalize" is more likely to be found in American texts. The choice between these spellings depends on the intended audience and the linguistic standards of the region.
Both "internalise" and "internalize" carry the same implications in psychological theory, referring to the subconscious adoption of external ideas. This process is crucial in understanding individual behavior and societal influences, regardless of the spelling variation.

Comparison Chart


British English
American English

Usage in Literature

Common in UK and Commonwealth
Predominant in the USA

Appearance in Academia

Often in British publications
Frequent in American texts

Linguistic Preference

Preferred in British English
Favored in American English

Impact on Meaning


Internalise and Internalize Definitions


To make attitudes or behavior part of one's nature.
She internalised respect for diversity at an early age.


Absorb and integrate within one's consciousness.
She internalized her coach's advice, enhancing her performance.


Absorb and integrate within one's consciousness.
He internalised the principles of non-violence, practicing them in daily life.


Subconscious assimilation of ideas, values.
Through their experiences, people often internalize societal norms.


Subconscious assimilation of ideas, values.
Through storytelling, children internalise moral values.


To make attitudes or behavior part of one's nature.
He internalized a sense of discipline from his military training.


Incorporate external concepts into personal belief systems.
He internalised the feedback from his mentor, improving his skills.


Adopting an external behavior as one's own.
Innovators internalize trends and insights to create new products.


Adopting an external behavior as one's own.
Artists often internalise influences from their peers and surroundings.


Incorporate external concepts into personal belief systems.
Students internalize knowledge from their studies over time.


Standard spelling of internalize


To make internal or cause to become internal.


Same as internalize.


To take in and make an integral part of one's attitudes or beliefs
Had internalized the cultural values of the Poles after a year of living in Warsaw.


Incorporate within oneself; make subjectiveor personal;
Internalize a belief


Is "internalise" more common in certain countries?

Yes, it's more common in British English-speaking countries.

Are "internalise" and "internalize" interchangeable?

Yes, they are interchangeable in meaning, differing only in regional spelling.

Where is "internalize" predominantly used?

It's predominantly used in American English.

What do "internalise" and "internalize" mean?

Both mean to incorporate ideas, attitudes, or behaviors into one's self.

Are there any contexts where one spelling is preferred?

Yes, academic or literary contexts often prefer the regional spelling.

Do these words have synonyms?

Yes, synonyms include assimilate, absorb, and integrate.

Is "internalize" acceptable in British English?

It can be used, but "internalise" is the standard British spelling.

Can these words be used in psychological therapy?

Yes, they're often used to describe the process of integrating therapeutic concepts.

Can "internalise" be used in American English?

It can be, but "internalize" is the standard American spelling.

Can "internalise" appear in American publications?

Rarely, as American publications usually adhere to American spelling.

Are these words used in everyday language?

They're more common in academic or psychological contexts.

Can "internalise" and "internalize" be used in business contexts?

Yes, in the context of adopting corporate values or practices.

Does the meaning change with spelling?

No, the meaning remains the same regardless of the spelling.

Are there any variations in usage?

No, the usage is the same in psychological and sociological contexts.

How do these words relate to personal development?

They describe the process of integrating external influences into personal growth.

Can either spelling be used in international contexts?

Yes, but it's advisable to stick to one standard for consistency.

Are there any exceptions in the usage of these words?

Not in terms of meaning, but regional spelling preferences may apply.

Do these words have the same pronunciation?

Yes, both words are pronounced the same.

Is one spelling more correct than the other?

No, the correctness depends on the regional language standard.

Is the spelling difference recognized by spell checkers?

Yes, depending on the language setting of the spell checker.
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
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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