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Unlabelled vs. Unlabeled: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Updated on November 7, 2023
"Unlabelled" and "unlabeled" mean the same—without a label—but differ in British (unlabelled) and American (unlabeled) English spelling.

Key Differences

Unlabelled, typically British English spelling, refers to items without a label or identification tag. Unlabeled, the American English variant, holds the same meaning. Both spellings are correct within their respective linguistic contexts and carry no difference in use or connotation. The choice between unlabelled and unlabeled is simply a matter of regional spelling preference.
In the context of merchandise, an unlabelled product lacks branding or a descriptive tag. Similarly, an unlabeled product in the United States would not display a brand or description. This absence of labeling can be intentional or due to oversight, and the implications are identical regardless of the spelling used.
When discussing scientific research, unlabelled samples are those not marked with identifiers. The term unlabeled is used in American journals for the same purpose. This can be critical in blind studies where the lack of labels prevents bias, ensuring the reliability of the research irrespective of the spelling.
In technology and data management, unlabelled data lacks tags or markers that identify its content or function. Unlabeled data in American English is referred to in the same way and presents the same challenges for algorithms that rely on labels for processing.
Both unlabelled and unlabeled can also describe a social context where an individual or group does not have a defining label or category. Whether one uses unlabelled or unlabeled in writing or conversation depends on the audience's familiarity with British or American English standards.

Comparison Chart

Spelling Variance

British English spelling.
American English spelling.


Used in British regions.
Used in American regions.

Dictionary Listings

Listed in UK dictionaries.
Listed in US dictionaries.

Linguistic Preference

Preferred in the UK.
Preferred in the US.

Search Engine Results

More common in UK searches.
More common in US searches.

Unlabelled and Unlabeled Definitions


Not having a label or identification.
She picked up an unlabelled can from the shelf.


Having no descriptive information.
They examined the unlabeled sample under the microscope.


Lacking a descriptive tag.
The unlabelled bottle contained a mysterious liquid.


Not marked with a label.
The package arrived unlabeled and anonymous.


Without brand marking.
He wore an unlabelled shirt that was quite plain.


Without assigned identification.
The unlabeled data made the research challenging.


Not identified or categorized.
The unlabelled specimen caused confusion in the lab.


Void of branding.
His clothing was unlabeled, yet stylish.


Free from any labels.
The artist preferred her work to remain unlabelled.


Not given a defining category.
The movement preferred to stay unlabeled.


(British spelling) Not labelled; having no label.


(American spelling) Not labeled; having no label.


Lacking a label or tag;
Unlabeled luggage is liable to be lost


Lacking a label or tag;
Unlabeled luggage is liable to be lost


Is the meaning of unlabelled and unlabeled different?

No, they have the same meaning but different regional spellings.

What does unlabelled mean?

Unlabelled means something does not have a label or identification.

Can I use unlabelled in American English?

It's understandable, but unlabeled is the preferred spelling in American English.

Is unlabeled incorrect in British English?

It's not incorrect, but unlabelled is the standard spelling in British English.

What does unlabeled mean?

Unlabeled also means lacking a label or identification, just in American English.

Are unlabelled and unlabeled used in legal contexts?

Yes, both terms can be used when discussing items that lack required labeling by law.

Will using unlabeled in a British document be considered a spelling mistake?

It could be marked as a non-preferred spelling but it's not necessarily a mistake.

Do unlabelled and unlabeled only refer to physical labels?

No, they can also refer to metaphorical labeling, like categories or groups.

Why are there two spellings for unlabelled/unlabeled?

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

Does unlabeled mean the product is generic?

Not necessarily, it simply lacks a label; it could still be a branded item.

Can an unlabelled item still have a price tag?

Yes, an item can be unlabelled in terms of its content or brand but still carry a price tag.

Is there a preference for unlabelled or unlabeled in academic writing?

The preference depends on the style guide being followed, which is usually regional.

Do unlabelled and unlabeled have synonyms?

Yes, synonyms include unmarked, unidentified, unnamed.

Can a person be described as unlabelled or unlabeled?

Yes, in a metaphorical sense, if they don't identify with a specific category.

Is it important to use the correct spelling of unlabelled/unlabeled?

In formal writing, using the regional spelling is important for consistency.

How do you spell unlabelled/unlabeled in Canada?

Canadian English often follows British spelling, so "unlabelled" is common.

How do you correct someone using unlabeled in British English?

Gently suggest that "unlabelled" is the standard British spelling.

Are unlabelled and unlabeled found in English dictionaries?

Yes, they are found in dictionaries, with regional spellings noted.

Do search engines differentiate between unlabelled and unlabeled?

Some search engines recognize regional spelling differences and may offer corrections.

Can using the wrong version of unlabelled/unlabeled affect SEO?

Yes, regional spelling can affect search engine optimization and search results relevance.
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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