[ brit-uh-siz-uhm ]

  1. a word, idiom, or phrase characteristic of or restricted to British English, especially as compared with American English, as lift compared with elevator or in hospital with in the hospital.

Origin of Briticism

1865–70, Americanism;British + -ism, with -ic for -ish on the model of Gallicism, etc.

Words Nearby Briticism Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use Briticism in a sentence

  • To use a Briticism, it was “cruel”; the corresponding Americanism was more appropriate—it was “fierce.”

  • This phrase, of course, is a Briticism, and seldom used in America.

    The American Language | Henry L. Mencken
  • In the one case the Briticism is the shorter, and in the other the Americanism.

    Americanisms and Briticisms | Brander Matthews
  • Sometimes the difference between the Americanism and Briticism is very slight.

    Americanisms and Briticisms | Brander Matthews

British Dictionary definitions for Briticism


/ (ˈbrɪtɪˌsɪzəm) /

  1. a custom, linguistic usage, or other feature peculiar to Britain or its people

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012