Licence vs. license

In American English, license is both a noun and a verb, and licence isn’t used. For example, one who is licensed to drive has a driver’s license. In all the other main varieties of English, licence is the noun, and license is the verb. So, for instance, one who is licensed to perform dental surgery has a dental surgeon’s licence.

Examples

U.S.

A judge on Monday threw out a legal challenge to Illusions magic bar’s entertainment license. [Baltimore Sun]

During the 90-minute operation, the camera scanned 1,758 license tags. [Sarasota Herald-Tribune]

Egypt said the American-backed pro-democracy groups were not licensed and were illegally funded. [Los Angeles Times]

Noun (outside the U.S.)

A pub where a man was shot in the legs last weekend has had its licence suspended by Knowsley Council. [BBC]

Fleet separation means that only those who fish can own a licence.  [Globe and Mail]

Fears that young drivers in Marton and Taihape will drive without licences because of a lack of testing facilities in their towns are unfounded.  [Manawatu Standard]

Verb (outside the U.S.)

Greenlight Music can license 1m songs at launch from the EMI, Sony, Universal and Warner catalogues.  [Financial Times]

The content is licensed through a copyright management solution called CreativeCommons.  [Mail & Guardian Online]

Mr McGowan said his party’s liquor licensing reform policy also would cut the licence fee from $3100 to $500.  [Sydney Morning Herald]

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