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Vandalized vs. Vandalised: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Updated on November 13, 2023
"Vandalized" and "vandalised" mean the same, referring to the act of deliberately destroying or damaging property, but "vandalized" is the American English spelling, while "vandalised" is the British English spelling.

Key Differences

'Vandalized' is the past tense of 'vandalize', used in American English. 'Vandalised' is the British English equivalent, meaning exactly the same.
Both terms describe the act of deliberately destroying or damaging property. The difference lies solely in regional spelling preferences.
In American English, the usage of 'z' is common in words like 'vandalized', while British English favors 's', as in 'vandalised'.
Contextually, both terms are interchangeable and understood globally, despite the spelling difference. The choice between them often depends on the writer's or publication's regional language standards.
Regardless of spelling, both 'vandalized' and 'vandalised' convey the same legal and social implications of damage to property.

Comparison Chart


Uses 'z'
Uses 's'


Damaging or defacing property
Damaging or defacing property


Common in American publications
Common in British publications

Global Understanding

Understood globally
Understood globally

Contextual Implication

Same legal and social implication
Same legal and social implication

Vandalized and Vandalised Definitions


Defaced with graffiti or other markings.
The walls were vandalized with spray paint.


Defaced with graffiti or other markings.
The historic building was vandalised with offensive slogans.


Deliberately destroyed or damaged.
The public park was vandalized last night.


Deliberately destroyed or damaged.
The library was vandalised by unknown individuals.


Illegally altering the appearance of something.
The statue in the square was vandalized.


Illegally altering the appearance of something.
The artwork in the park was vandalised.


Damaged in an act of vandalism.
Several cars were vandalized in the parking lot.


Destruction of public or private property.
Reports indicate that the bus stop has been vandalised.


Destruction of public or private property.
The school's windows were vandalized.


Damaged in an act of vandalism.
The community garden was vandalised overnight.


To damage or destroy (another's property) willfully or maliciously.


Simple past tense and past participle of vandalise
The gang vandalised the neighborhood.


Simple past tense and past participle of vandalize
The gang vandalized the neighborhood.


Referring to something that has been struck by vandalism
The community worked to clean up the vandalised neighborhood.


Damaged by vandalism.
The community worked to clean up the vandalized neighborhood.


Are 'vandalized' and 'vandalised' different in meaning?

No, they have the same meaning but different spellings.

Is 'vandalised' the correct spelling in the UK?

Yes, 'vandalised' is the standard British English spelling.

Should I use 'vandalized' or 'vandalised' in academic writing?

It depends on the regional language standards of your academic institution.

Does the meaning change with spelling?

No, the meaning remains the same regardless of spelling.

Which spelling should I use in an international context?

Either is acceptable, but consider your audience and the context.

Is 'vandalized' American or British English?

'Vandalized' is American English.

Can 'vandalised' be used in American publications?

It can be, but 'vandalized' is the standard American spelling.

Can both spellings be understood globally?

Yes, both spellings are globally understood.

Is one spelling more correct than the other?

No, correctness depends on the regional language standard being used.

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

Yes, many words have different spellings in American and British English.

Is 'vandalised' accepted in American dictionaries?

Yes, but it's listed as the British English variant.

Can I switch between 'vandalized' and 'vandalised' in a document?

It's best to maintain consistency in spelling throughout a document.

Are both spellings found in English language teaching?

Yes, depending on whether American or British English is being taught.

Are there pronunciation differences?

No, both are pronounced the same way.

Is 'vandalised' changing in popularity in British English?

No, it remains the standard spelling in British English.

Does the media use both spellings?

Media outlets usually stick to the regional spelling standard.

Should I use 'vandalized' in an American school?

Yes, 'vandalized' is the preferred spelling in American English.

Does 'vandalized' have different legal implications than 'vandalised'?

No, both terms carry the same legal implications.

Should I use 'vandalized' in a British publication?

Typically, 'vandalised' is preferred in British publications.

Is 'vandalized' used in Canadian English?

Canadian English may use either, but often follows British spelling.
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
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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