Catalog vs. Catalogue – Difference & Definition

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

The English language has a plethora of words we can spell in several ways which can make things a little difficult if you’re learning English. One example is catalog vs. catalogue. Is it catalogue or catalog? When do we use these two words? All the answers are in this article.

Learn the difference between catalog and catalogue in my guide. I also included examples of how to use them in sentences.

What Does Catalog Mean?

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The definition of catalogue and catalog is the same. They both refer to a complete list of things. These items are usually listed in alphabetical or systematic order.

For example, some stores compile a magazine-like list of products they offer. We call them catalogues or catalogs. They contain pictures of the products in different colors, descriptions, sizes, and other features.

The list of books available in your school library is also available in a catalog. It can be recorded in a digital database, printed, or written.

Catalog or catalogue can also be a verb that means to make a systematic list of items.

Catalog or Catalogue?

Catalog and catalogue are both correct. But the preferred spelling depends on where you live or the English variant you follow.

This Ngram reveals the fluctuations in the usage of catalog vs. catalogue. Catalogue is presently more commonly used than catalog.

Catalogue vs. Catalog Ngram
Usage trend of the words catalogue and catalog over the years.

Catalog Spelling in American English

Catalog American English Ngram
American English catalog usage trend.

The preferred spelling for American audiences is catalog. Years ago, American grammarians decided to simplify the spellings of different words.

For catalogue and other similar words, this means removing -ogue and replacing it with -og. Other examples include dialog and analog.

Here are some examples of sentences with catalog.

  • Unlike December’s PlayStation Plus Essential games, which are available for all members to claim, Game Catalog’s downloadable PS4 and PS5 titles are only available to players who subscribe to the service’s Extra and Premium tiers. (Video Games Chronicles)
  • As of 2018, Gab claimed to have some 800,000 users. Gab’s owners now boast that the social-media website is exponentially larger. A Nov. 28 email from Gab promoting its Parallel Economy Christmas catalog suggests that Gab’s advertising can “reach 20 million + people a month.” (The Daily Beast)

Catalog Spelling in British English

Catalogue British English Ngram
British English catalogue usage trend.

The correct British English spelling is catalogue. It was the original spelling of the noun that refers to a list of items in a systematic order, which explains its more prevalent use than catalog in the 1800s.

While catalog instantly became widely used in the 1900s because of the Americanized spelling, catalogue remained more popular. It’s also more common in countries outside the USA, such as Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.

Here are some examples of catalogue in sentences.

  • Shary Boyle’s Outside the Palace of Me exhibition catalogue provides viewers with experiences that an in-person visit cannot. (Hyperallergic)
  • “Since its emergence in 2016, the Tariq Ben Zeyad armed group has terrorized people in areas under LAAF control, inflicting a catalogue of horrors, including unlawful killings, torture and other ill-treatment, enforced disappearance, rape and other sexual violence, and forced displacement — with no fear of consequences,” said Hussein Baoumi, Amnesty International’s Egypt and Libya researcher. (Amnesty International)

Catalog or Catalogue AP Style

AP Stylebook offers reference to American English grammar. Therefore, it prefers catalog over catalogue.

Summary of Catalog and Catalogue

So, is it catalog or catalogue? Both are correct spelling variants of the same word. Their boundaries are also blurred because people use them interchangeably without affecting the meaning. Remember:

  • Catalog is the American English spelling.
  • Catalogue is the British English spelling.

If you are experiencing difficulty memorizing, catalogue with a U is associated with the United Kingdom.