Difference between Center and Centre

Key Difference: The word ‘center’ and ‘centre’ have the same meaning. The only difference is the place in which the word is used. Now, if you wanted to speak like a British person, the proper word would be ‘centre’, while in America it is ‘center’.

The terms ‘center’ and ‘centre’ are often confusing for many people that are learning English as a second language or shifting from the UK to the US and vice versa. It has become general knowledge that there are many words that are used in Britain English and American English that are same but spelled differently. This is one of those words! Now, if you wanted to speak like a British person, the proper word would be ‘centre’, while in America it is ‘center’.

The word ‘center’ and ‘centre’ have the same meaning. The only difference is the place in which the word is used. According to Dictionary.com ‘center/centre’ means, “the middle point, as the point within a circle or sphere equally distant from all points of the circumference or surface, or the point within a regular polygon equally distant from the vertices.” The word is also used differently in England. The word ‘center’ is used to refer to the center of something, while the ‘centre’ is used to refer the establishments or structures.

Other definitions include:

  • A point, pivot, axis, etc., around which anything rotates or revolves.
  • The source of an influence, action, force.
  • A point, place, person, etc., upon which interest, emotion, etc., focuses.
  • A principal point, place, or object.

The term is also used in sports as a player that plays in the middle of the forward line (football/rugby) or a player who jumps for the ball at the start of the game (basketball).

Many countries that have adopted the European English such as France, Italy, India all spell the word as ‘centre’, while countries that follow the American English use ‘center’. These are also used to refer to places or establishments. Examples of these include: shopping center, Center for Disease Control, Centre Region, France, Centre College, Centre for Environmental Science and Engineering, etc.

Image Courtesy: gettingoutlimos.com, flickr.com

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