Difference Wiki

Revolutionise vs. Revolutionize: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Updated on November 29, 2023
"Revolutionise" and "revolutionize" have the same meaning: to cause a dramatic, transformative change, but they differ in spelling based on British (revolutionise) and American (revolutionize) English usage.

Key Differences

Revolutionise is the British English spelling of the term that means to completely change or transform something, especially in a radical or significant way. Revolutionize, on the other hand, is the American English spelling of the same word. The difference is purely orthographic, reflecting the varied spelling conventions of British and American English.
Both revolutionise and revolutionize are verbs that describe the act of causing a major change or transformation, often in a way that significantly alters the existing order or system. The choice between revolutionise and revolutionize typically depends on the writer's or speaker's regional language variety, with no difference in the meaning or usage of the words.
In literature and media, revolutionise is more commonly found in texts originating from the UK or Commonwealth countries, aligning with British English spelling conventions. Conversely, revolutionize is predominantly used in American English texts. This distinction is important for maintaining consistency in written language according to the intended audience's language norm.
When it comes to digital content and global communication, the choice between revolutionise and revolutionize might be influenced by the target audience's familiarity with either British or American English. In educational contexts, it's also essential to teach students the difference in spelling as part of broader English language variations.
Revolutionise and revolutionize are identical in meaning and function, their usage is demarcated by geographical and cultural language norms. This distinction is one of many examples of the rich diversity and adaptability of the English language across different regions.

Comparison Chart

Spelling Region

British English
American English

Usage in Literature

Common in UK, Australia, and Commonwealth
Predominant in the United States

Digital Content Norms

Used in content targeting British audience
Used in content for American audience

Educational Contexts

Taught as standard in British English curricula
Taught in American English curricula

Global Communication

Preference based on audience's language norm
Preference aligning with American English norm

Revolutionise and Revolutionize Definitions


To cause a dramatic and fundamental change.
The internet has revolutionised global communication.


To effect a drastic alteration.
Electric cars are revolutionizing the automotive sector.


To bring about a significant transformation.
Smartphones have revolutionised the way we live.


To dramatically change something in a significant way.
Streaming services have revolutionized the entertainment industry.


To innovate or reform profoundly.
E-commerce has revolutionised retail business.


To cause a fundamental transformation.
Artificial intelligence is poised to revolutionize various industries.


To radically change a system or practice.
His theories revolutionised the field of physics.


To profoundly innovate or modify.
Social media has revolutionized communication and marketing.


To alter something drastically.
Renewable energy could revolutionise the power industry.


To bring about a radical change in
Television has revolutionized news coverage.


To change radically or significantly, as in a revolution.


To subject to a political or social revolution.


Fill with revolutionary ideas


To fill with revolutionary principles.


Change radically;
E-mail revolutionized communication in academe


To radically or significantly change, as in a revolution


To change completely, as by a revolution; as, to revolutionize a government.
The gospel . . . has revolutionized his soul.


Change radically;
E-mail revolutionized communication in academe


Overthrow by a revolution, of governments


Fill with revolutionary ideas


To bring radical change to a system or field.
Her research could revolutionize medical treatments.


Are revolutionise and revolutionize interchangeable?

Yes, they are interchangeable but depend on British (revolutionise) or American (revolutionize) English spelling norms.

Can I use revolutionize in British English?

It's not standard; in British English, "revolutionise" is the conventional spelling.

Why are there two spellings, revolutionise and revolutionize?

The spelling difference reflects the varied conventions of British and American English.

What does revolutionise mean?

Revolutionise means to cause a dramatic and fundamental change.

Is revolutionize a recent word in English?

No, it has been in use for quite some time, indicating transformative changes.

What does revolutionize mean?

Revolutionize also means to cause a dramatic and fundamental change.

Are there synonyms for revolutionise/revolutionize?

Yes, words like transform, overhaul, and reform are synonyms.

How do I know whether to use revolutionise or revolutionize?

It depends on whether you are using British or American English.

Is revolutionise commonly used in academic writing?

Yes, particularly in British English academic writing.

Is revolutionize often seen in technological contexts?

Yes, especially regarding innovations that drastically change industries.

Is revolutionise used in American publications?

Typically no, American publications prefer "revolutionize."

Does the meaning of revolutionise change in different contexts?

No, the meaning remains the same, indicating a significant change or transformation.

Does revolutionise have a positive connotation?

It often does, but it can be neutral or negative depending on context.

Do revolutionise and revolutionize appear in historical texts?

Yes, particularly in reference to significant historical changes.

Can revolutionise/revolutionize be used in a non-political context?

Yes, they can describe significant changes in any field or context.

Do revolutionise and revolutionize have the same pronunciation?

Yes, they are pronounced the same way.

Can revolutionise be used metaphorically?

Yes, it can be used metaphorically to describe profound changes.

Can revolutionize be used to describe personal change?

Yes, it can describe significant personal transformations.

Are there idiomatic uses of revolutionise?

Not commonly; it's usually used in a literal sense.

Can non-native speakers easily differentiate between revolutionise and revolutionize?

It might be challenging, but understanding the regional spelling differences can help.
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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