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Penalized vs. Penalised: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Penalized and Penalised have the same meaning - to subject to a penalty; the difference lies in regional spelling: Penalized is American English, Penalised is British English.
Penalized vs. Penalised

Key Differences

Penalized is the American English spelling of the word that refers to imposing a penalty on someone or something, usually as a form of punishment or as a deterrent for breaking a rule or law. Penalised, on the other hand, is the British English spelling of the same word. The difference in spelling does not affect the meaning or usage of the term in any substantive way, as both spellings are understood globally.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 04, 2023
The term Penalized is commonly used in American publications, legal documents, and general communication within the United States. It is also prevalent in countries that follow American English standards. Conversely, Penalised is the preferred spelling in British English and is widely used in the UK and countries that follow British English conventions, such as Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.
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Dec 04, 2023
In sports, the term Penalized is used to describe the action of imposing a disadvantage or punishment on a player or team for a rule infraction. Similarly, Penalised is used in the same context in British English-speaking countries. For instance, a player might be penalized (or penalised) for a foul in a football match.
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Dec 04, 2023
In the context of law and regulations, when someone is Penalized (American English), it means they are subjected to a legal punishment or sanction. Penalised (British English) is used similarly in legal contexts in countries following British English norms. These penalties could range from fines to more severe legal consequences.
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Dec 04, 2023
To sum up, while Penalized and Penalised differ in spelling, reflecting the variances in American and British English, they share the same meaning. The choice between the two spellings depends primarily on the regional language norms of the writer or the intended audience.
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Comparison Chart

Spelling

Uses 'z'.
Uses 's'.
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Usage Region

Predominantly in the USA.
Predominantly in the UK and Commonwealth countries.
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Context of Use

Legal, sports, general usage in American English.
Legal, sports, general usage in British English.
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Language Standard

American English conventions.
British English conventions.
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Global Understanding

Globally understood.
Globally understood.
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Penalized and Penalised Definitions

Penalized

Subjected to a punishment or disadvantage.
The player was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct.
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Penalised

Incurred a disadvantage as a consequence.
The company was penalised for failing to meet safety standards.
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Penalized

Incurring a penalty in a legal context.
Tax evaders are heavily penalized under federal law.
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Penalised

Subject to a penalty or sanction.
He was penalised for breaking the speed limit.
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Penalized

Imposed a penalty in a sporting event.
The team was penalized with a five-yard loss.
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Penalised

Faced legal repercussions.
Offenders are penalised with fines or community service.
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Penalized

Suffered a loss or disadvantage due to a specific action.
Companies can be penalized for environmental violations.
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Penalised

Disadvantaged due to specific actions or rules.
Late submissions are often penalised in academic settings.
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Penalized

Disadvantaged or punished in any context.
Students are penalized for late assignment submissions.
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Penalised

Given a penalty in sports.
The footballer was penalised for a foul.
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Penalized

To subject (a person) to a penalty, especially for infringement of a law or regulation.
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Oct 19, 2023

Penalised

Simple past tense and past participle of penalise
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Penalized

To make (an action or a condition) liable to a penalty
Tripping is penalized in hockey.
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Penalised

Subject to a penalty as a punishment
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Penalized

To impose a handicap on; place at a disadvantage
Was penalized by his poor education.
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Penalised

Punished by the imposition of a penalty
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Penalized

Simple past tense and past participle of penalize
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Penalized

Subjected to a penalty.
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Penalized

Punished by the imposition of a penalty
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

When should I use Penalized?

Use Penalized when writing in American English contexts.
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Dec 04, 2023

Can Penalized be used in legal documents?

Yes, in American English-speaking regions.
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In which countries is Penalised more common?

Penalised is common in the UK and other British English-speaking countries.
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Dec 04, 2023

Is Penalised the same as Penalized?

Yes, Penalised is the British English spelling of Penalized.
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Dec 04, 2023

Is Penalised used in sports contexts?

Yes, particularly in British English-speaking countries.
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Dec 04, 2023

Are there any differences in meaning between Penalized and Penalised?

No, they mean the same; the difference is only in spelling.
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Dec 04, 2023

What does Penalized mean?

Penalized means subjected to a penalty or punishment.
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Dec 04, 2023

Do American English speakers understand Penalised?

Yes, American English speakers understand Penalised.
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Dec 04, 2023

Can Penalized refer to sports penalties?

Yes, it's commonly used to describe sports penalties in American English.
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Dec 04, 2023

Can a company be Penalized/Penalised?

Yes, companies can face penalties in legal or regulatory contexts.
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Is Penalized used in computer programming?

It can be used metaphorically, like in search engine algorithms.
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Is Penalized accepted in British English?

It's understood, but Penalised is the preferred spelling in British English.
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Dec 04, 2023

In which English exams should I use Penalised?

Use Penalised in exams based on British English, like IELTS.
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How do I pronounce Penalized/Penalised?

Both are pronounced similarly, despite the spelling difference.
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Dec 04, 2023

Which spelling should I use in an international publication?

Either is acceptable, but consider your primary audience's language norm.
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Dec 04, 2023

Are there synonyms for Penalized/Penalised?

Yes, words like "fined" or "punished" are synonyms.
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Dec 04, 2023

Are Penalized and Penalised used differently in journalism?

Usage depends on the regional language norm of the publication.
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Dec 04, 2023

Does Penalised apply to academic contexts?

Yes, students can be penalised for academic infractions in British English.
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What is the origin of the word Penalized/Penalised?

It comes from the Latin word "poenalis," meaning "punishment."
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Dec 04, 2023

Can Penalized/Penalised be used in casual conversation?

Yes, in contexts discussing consequences or rules.
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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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