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Memorized vs. Memorised: What's the Difference?

By Janet White || Updated on November 11, 2023
"Memorized" and "memorised" mean the same: to commit something to memory. The difference is in spelling: "memorized" is American English, while "memorised" is British English.

Key Differences

Memorized is the past tense of the verb 'memorize' in American English, meaning to commit something to memory. Memorised is the British English equivalent, used in the same context but differing in spelling.
In American English, one says, "I have memorized the lines for the play," emphasizing the 'z' in spelling. In contrast, British English prefers "I have memorised the poem," with an 's' instead of a 'z'.
The use of memorized is common in American publications and academic works. Conversely, memorised is predominantly found in British texts, following the UK spelling conventions.
When using software or dictionaries, the spelling memorized is flagged as correct in American English settings, while memorised is recognized in British English settings.
Both memorized and memorised convey the same meaning: the act of committing something to memory. The choice between them depends solely on the regional variation of English being used.

Comparison Chart

Regional Usage

American English
British English

Spelling Variation

Uses 'z'
Uses 's'

Dictionary Recognition

Recognized in American dictionaries
Recognized in British dictionaries

Example in a Sentence

"She memorized the entire speech."
"She memorised the entire speech."

Language Settings in Software

Preferred in American English settings
Preferred in British English settings

Memorized and Memorised Definitions


Committed to memory.
He memorized all the capitals of the world.


Learned by heart.
The poet memorised all his own compositions.


Retained in the memory.
She memorized the recipe after making it a few times.


Retained in the memory.
He memorised the directions to avoid using GPS.


Learned by heart.
The actor memorized his lines in just one day.


Remembered without needing to refer to notes.
She had memorised her speech and spoke confidently.


Known from memory.
They memorized the entire song for the performance.


Committed to memory.
She memorised the periodic table for her exam.


Remembered without needing to refer to notes.
He had memorized the presentation and didn't need slides.


Known from memory.
They memorised the choreography after several rehearsals.


To commit to memory; learn by heart.


Simple past tense and past participle of memorise


Simple past tense and past participle of memorize


Is memorised American or British English?

It's British English.

Is memorized American or British English?

It's American English.

Can memorized and memorised be used interchangeably?

Yes, but depending on the regional form of English being used.

What does memorised mean?

Memorised also means having committed something to memory.

Why does memorized use a 'z'?

It follows American English spelling conventions.

Will British English speakers understand memorized?

Yes, but they might prefer the spelling memorised.

Why does memorised use an 's'?

It follows British English spelling conventions.

Is the pronunciation of memorized and memorised the same?

Yes, they are pronounced the same.

What does memorized mean?

Memorized means having committed something to memory.

How is memorised used in a sentence?

"I have memorised all the lyrics to the song."

In which contexts is memorized more appropriate?

In contexts using American English, like in the U.S.

Will American English speakers understand memorised?

Yes, it is generally understood though it may seem less familiar.

Can I use memorized in British English?

Technically yes, but it's not the conventional spelling.

Do both forms appear in English language teaching?

Yes, depending on whether the curriculum follows American or British English.

How is memorized used in a sentence?

"I have memorized all the formulas for the test."

Can I use memorised in American English?

You can, but it might be marked as a spelling error.

Are there any differences in meaning between memorized and memorised?

No, they mean the same thing.

Are there other words with similar American/British spelling differences?

Yes, like 'realize' and 'realise', 'organize' and 'organise', etc.

In which contexts is memorised more appropriate?

In contexts using British English, like in the U.K.

Is the choice between memorized and memorised just a matter of preference?

It's more about following the regional language norms.
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.

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