Judgment or Judgement: Which one is correct?

Alison Chaplin

English can be a tricky language, and one area that often stumps people is the difference between “judgment” and “judgement.” Both spellings are okay, but it’s not always clear when to use which. In this article, we’ll break down the differences, considering things like regional preferences, legal usage, and the historical evolution of these words.

What’s are the Regional Preferences?

One big reason for the confusion is that Americans tend to write “judgment,” while the British often go for “judgement.” It’s not a hard and fast rule, just a matter of habit on either side of the Atlantic.


RegionPreferred Spelling
United StatesJudgment
United KingdomJudgement

How it Use in Legal Context?

In legal speak, accuracy matters. In the U.S., legal documents usually use “judgment,” while in the UK, you might see more of “judgement.”


Legal SystemPreferred Spelling
American Legal SystemJudgment
British Legal SystemJudgement

What Guides Can Tell Us?

Different style guides might have their preferences. The Chicago Manual of Style leans towards “judgment,” while the Oxford English Dictionary in the UK favors “judgement.”


  • Chicago Manual of Style (US):judgment
  • Oxford English Dictionary (UK):judgement

Pro Tip: In the U.S., think “judgment” like “judicial,” and in the UK, consider “judgement” as adding a touch of British flair. Keep it regionally sharp and contextually smart!

What’s the Use of “Judgment” or “Judgement” in Grammar?

The words “judgment” and “judgement” can be used in different parts of speech, including as nouns and verbs. Let’s explore the usage in various contexts with examples:

1. Noun:


  • Definition: The ability to make considered decisions or come to sensible conclusions.
  • Example: Sarah showed great judgment in selecting the most qualified candidate for the job.
  • Definition: The official decision of a court.
  • Example: The court issued its final judgment on the case, bringing an end to the legal proceedings.


  • Definition: The same meanings as “judgment” but used primarily in British English.
  • Example: Her judgement in choosing reliable sources for the research project was commendable.

2. Verb:

To Judge:

  • Definition: To form an opinion or make a decision about someone or something.
  • Example: We shouldn’t judge people solely based on appearances; there’s often more than meets the eye.

3. Adjective:


  • Definition: Having or displaying an excessively critical point of view.
  • Example: It’s important not to be too judgmental when considering others’ choices; everyone has their reasons.

What is the difference Between “Judgment” and “Judgement”?

The difference lies in regional preferences. Americans typically use “judgment,” while the British prefer “judgement.” Legal contexts follow this pattern, with the U.S. using “judgment” and the UK opting for “judgement.” Style guides, like the Chicago Manual of Style and Oxford English Dictionary, also influence the choice.


In conclusion, deciding between “judgment” and “judgement” depends on where you are and what you’re writing. Language evolves, and these differences give some variety to how we communicate. Follow your instincts or use a style guide to match your audience’s expectations. Either way, it’s not as hard as it might seem.