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Collectible vs collectable

collectible is something of value either in a collection or to a collector. It can also describe something that is being collected on (i.e., due for payment).

The spelling collectable is recognized as correct by the dictionary, though the spelling occurs twice as often.


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This spelling variation extends to the derivative collectibility and collectability. In that form the preference switches to the spelling, though not to such a degree as the adjective form.

Examples

The FTC said it’s too soon to know how much of the $9 million judgment is collectable and may ultimately be returned to victims. [KHOU]

It must also specify the total amount due and collectible by virtue of the assignment and state that three fourths of the employee’s periodical wages are exempt from the assignment. [National Law Review]

Tucked into the greenery is a treasure trove of art collected from the art fairs of Ann Arbor, Franklin and Birmingham, and antique and collectable markets across the United States and Europe. [The Detroit News]

Dealers in collectables, toy fairs and similar outlets are being asked to look out for such items being offered for sale. [West Sussex Gazette]

I’ve been collecting wristwatches since 1986, and have selected what I feel are the top five most collectible wristwatches of the formative 20th century. [Barrons]

Investors can be obsessive about tracking the value of their stocks, bonds and other financial assets, checking their balances every day. But when it comes to the value of their collectibles, many don’t have a clue. And that can lead to all sorts of trouble. [Wall Street Journal]

In 1938, when Action Comics No. 1 hit the newsstands, very few people thought about collectibility. [Slate]

As mid-20th-century pieces mature to the point of collectability and contemporary items by newer names are hyped up by industry advocates bent on building a domestic-designer canon, picking Canadian to outfit your pad is looking more and more like a smart investment. [The Globe and Mail]

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Comments

  1. I wonder why in banking we usually use “collectible”, and so I landed here. The fact is that when i’m trying to write “collectable” in this Windows machine, there’s corrective suggestions list: “collect-able” or again, “collectible”.

  2. I’ve always felt that “collectible” works best as the noun form (i.e. “toys and other collectibles”) where “collectable” suits the verb form – “the debt has become collectable.” But that’s just me.

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