British English


: the native language of most inhabitants of England
especially : English characteristic of England and clearly distinguishable from that used elsewhere (as in the U.S. or Australia)

Examples of British English in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In automotive terms, saloon is another word for sedan that is more commonly used in British English. Wire Service, The Mercury News, 9 Jan. 2024 But there were also changes that were obviously changes, either changing British English into American English. The Politics Of Everything, The New Republic, 15 Mar. 2023 This pronunciation change happened at a time when American English was trying to differentiate itself from British English, explained Kelly Elizabeth Wright, experimental sociolinguist and lexicographer at Virginia Tech. Janelle Davis, CNN, 12 Mar. 2023 Not everyone is happy about the spread of British English. Konrad Putzier, WSJ, 18 Dec. 2022 Which term is used largely depends on whether the person is speaking British English or American English. Keira Wingate, USA TODAY, 22 Sep. 2022 Alexis realized both Adrian and Mastermind365 used phrases common in British English — complete with some of the same typos. CBS News, 28 Feb. 2021 The programme’s vocabulary is calibrated using texts from journals, novels, conversation recordings, blog posts and more, in both American and British English. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 29 Sep. 2011

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'British English.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1866, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of British English was in 1866

Dictionary Entries Near British English

Cite this Entry

“British English.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

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