Minimize vs minimise

Minimize means to reduce to the smallest possible amount, to estimate to the least possible degree, to belittle or represent as worth less than is actually true. Minimize is a transitive verb which takes an object. The North American spelling is minimize, related words are minimizes and minimized, and the nouns minimizing, minimizer and minimization.

Minimise is the preferred British spelling. Related words are minimises and minimised, and the nouns minimising, minimiser and minimisation. The American spelling of minimization is also considered correct and is gaining acceptance around the world

Minimize and minimise are examples of a group of words that are spelled with a “z” in American English and with an “s” in British English. The first use of the word minimize occurred in 1802.


Through the “Lake Watch” campaign, the city hopes to minimize the effects of a fish kill by disposing of the dead fish as quickly as possible. (The San Francisco Chronicle)

If a crash is imminent, the car’s audio system emits a sound to trigger the eardrum’s protective reflexes and minimize possible hearing damage in a crash. (The Dallas Morning News)

“There are layers of excuses, minimization, not taking responsibility,” deputy Davis County attorney Cristina Ortega said. (The Deseret News)

“They arrive with as much fuel as they can to minimise fuel uplift in Queenstown – it’s a common practice but they’re landing at near maximum weight.” (The New Zealand Herald)

After the events of the last week, the government might have to consider replacing “minimising interference” with “maximising interference.” (The Sydney Morning Herald)

Senator Dastyari, who also chairs the Senate Economics References Committee, which has been running the inquiry into tax minimisation schemes used by multinationals such as Apple and Google,  said there were moves to have Aldi called before the Senate inquiry in coming weeks, but a final decision would be made by the committee. (The Brisbane Times)


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