Difference between Center and Centre

Updated on June 1, 2017

Is it “medical center” or “medical centre”? Some of you may say that “center” is a verb and “centre” is a noun, so it should be “medical center.” However, other people will probably disagree and say that there is no difference between the two so either is fine. Which is true, then?

Definitions

Center

The word center is widely used in American English as a noun and a verb.

As a noun, it refers to:

  1. The middle point of something, such as a surface or circle; for example: With tears rolling from her eyes, the little girl ran to the center of the castle’s ballroom.
  2. A place intended for an activity or event; for example: Tami Ruiz, a 28-year-old billionaire, built a sports center for the poverty-stricken kids in San Marino City.

As a verb, it means:

  1. To place something in the middle of a specific area; for example: On a piece of paper, center your brush and draw a line towards the edge.
  2. To revolve around something; for example: Today’s discussion centers around the school’s uniform policy.

The word centre has the same meaning and function as the word “center.” However, “centre” is extensively used in British, Canadian, Indian, and Australian English and is not as commonly used in North America.

Center vs Centre

What, then, is the difference between “center” and “centre”?

The words “center” and “centre” have the same meanings. The only difference between the two is that “center” is preferred in American English, whereas “centre” is preferred in British, Canadian, Indian, and Australian English.

Comparison Chart

CenterCentre
Used in American EnglishUsed in British, Canadian, Indian, and Australian English