‘Organisation' vs ' Organization': What's the Difference Between the Two?

By Shanea Patterson, updated on November 24, 2022

When you join a company, are you part of an ‘organisation’ or an ‘organization’? Struggling with the correct spelling of the word? We’ll cover that below and discuss how to use the word correctly in a sentence.

The short answer is:

  • That both spellings of the word are technically correct.
  • However, the word ‘organisation’ is the British English spelling of the word.
  • The word ‘organization’ is the American English spelling of the word.

So, using them both correctly would depend on your audience and the context in which you’re using them.

Organisation vs. Organization: What’s the Difference?  

You’ve just learned that both spellings of the word are technically correct. Although, if you’re writing for an American audience, you’re better off using ‘organization.’

In British English, a lot of the words we’d normally see spelled with a ‘z’ are spelled with an ‘s.’

Take a look at a few examples:

  • Cozy > Cosy
  • Apologize > Apologise
  • Realize > Realise
  • Characterize > Characterise
  • Analyze > Analyse
  • Hypnotize > Hypnotise

Definition and Meaning 

Now that we know that both spellings of the word are correct let’s define the words.

The Merriam-Webster definition of the word is: “the act or process of organizing or of being organized,” “the condition or manner of being organized,” “association, society,” “an administrative and functional structure (such as a business or a political party),” and “the personnel of such a structure.”

It can also be defined as: “characterized by complete conformity to the standards and requirements of an organization.”

Synonyms of the word include:

  • Association
  • Chamber
  • Congress
  • Fellowship
  • Gild
  • Board
  • Club
  • Consortium
  • Fraternity
  • Institute
  • Brotherhood
  • College
  • Council
  • Guild
  • Institution
  • League
  • Sodality
  • Order
  • Society

Similar Confusing Words 

There are other words in the English language that have British spellings that are similar to ‘organization.’

Tires vs. Tyres

The word is spelled ‘tires’ in English and ‘tyres’ in British English, but the words mean exactly the same thing, just like ‘organization’ and ‘organisation.’

Nighttime vs. Night-Time

In English, the word ‘nighttime’ is acceptable, but in British English, the word might be spelled with a hyphen (i.e., night-time).

Auntie vs. Aunty

The word ‘auntie’ is most common in American English, but in British English, it’s okay to spell it ‘aunty.’ 

Plural of Organization

The plural of the word ‘organization’ is ‘organizations.’ That’s because it follows the standard rule for pluralizing English words, which is to add an ‘s’ or ‘es’ to the end of the word.

Take a look at a few examples:

  • Miss > Misses
  • Bus > Buses
  • Watch > Watches
  • Tire > Tires
  • Dance > Dances
  • Octopus > Octopuses/octopi/octopods
  • Book > Books

How to Use it In a Sentence 

Now that you know the American and British English spellings of the word and how to pluralize it, let’s see some examples of how to use it in a sentence.

Take a look at a few examples of how to use it in singular form:

  • The organization has plans to hire 10 new employees by the end of the quarter.
  • My organization has grown tremendously over the past five years.
  • Every organization has policies and procedures that govern its employees.
  • Organization has done wonders for your closet.
  • This charity organization helps underprivileged youth.

Now, let’s see some examples of how to use it in its plural form:

  • My son is the head of several organizations in Manhattan.
  • There are tons of charity organizations to consider this holiday
  • Forty organizations in New York, and you chose this one?
  • I’ll be working with two organizations for 90 percent of the year.
  • There are no businesses or organizations within 15 miles of my house.

When a number is the first word in a sentence, you spell it out. It’s never okay to use a number to begin a sentence.

Final Thoughts on ‘Organisation’ vs. ‘Organization’

To recap, we’ve learned that both spellings of the word are correct. However, the former is the British English spelling of the word, and the latter is the American English spelling of the word.

If you ever forget, try to remember that our American English version always has a ‘z,’ much like the other words we talked about above.

Never get stuck again with our library of articles dedicated to explaining confusing words and phrases in English (both American and British). Bookmark any page and come back whenever you need to.

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Written By:
Shanea Patterson
Shanea Patterson is a writer based in New York and loves writing for brands big and small. She has a master's degree in professional writing from New York University and a bachelor's degree in English from Mercy College.

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