Prioritize vs prioritise

Prioritize means to arrange items in order of their importance, to designate something more important than other things. Prioritize may be a transitive or an intransitive verb. Prioritize is the North American spelling, related words are prioritizes, prioritized, prioritizing, prioritization and prioritizer.

Prioritise is an accepted British spelling. Related words are prioritises, prioritised, prioritising,  prioritisation and prioritiser. The American spelling of prioritize is also considered correct and is gaining acceptance around the world.


Prioritize and prioritise are examples of a group of words that are spelled with a “z” in American English and an “s” in British English. Prioritize derives from the word priority, which comes from the Latin prior meaning of place or time, higher in importance.


Schools often prioritize lighting projects because they work well with the Energy Commission’s formula, which requires schools to save at least $1.05 on energy costs for every dollar spent. (The Albuquerque Journal)

The committee is recommending the state “revise the standards or write new standards” that prioritize goals that can be mastered in 180 days, are developmentally appropriate and are more clear and detailed. (The Winston-Salem Journal)

Weinheimer’s group is designed to develop indicators that can be periodically evaluated to measure improvement in the U.S. beef value chain using a tiered or phased approach to prioritize indicators for the entire U.S. beef value chain. (The High Plains Journal)

Indonesia should prioritize high-value partnerships in Asia that could offer additional strategic benefits over of low-value unsustainable trade relations with Australia. (Jakarta Post)

Asean must prioritise disaster risk reduction – Jonatan A. Lassa (The Malaysian Insider)

Canberra students forced to prioritise earning over learning (Canberra Times)

Senior executives urge parliament to prioritise third runway at Heathrow (The Guardian)



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  2. Ittetsu Iwaki says:

    I am always utilising the British spelling “Prioritise” because this is far more accurate than the US spelling “Prioritize” I think. I recommend that the British spelling should be prioritised.

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