Here you can find meanings of English words and check do they belong to the British or American English.

This knowledge may be useful for you, if you go, for example, on the trip to the USA, or want to enhance your knowledge for career purposes, or want to use it just for business communicating.

Ability to differentiate which type of English should you use in a specific English speaking environment: American or British English, may help you to correctly represent youself in the area of the specific English usage, where some people will not accept using non-typical for their countries or regions some English expressions.

Useful for...

foreign learners of English: can be the useful resource

Internet users: if you want to download a picture (from Google, for example) you need to remember that, by default, search can be done in such way:

  • sometimes by American pattern of English only
  • sometimes by British pattern of English only

though you change search preference (like; Google UK) - result still can be unexpected: nothing can come.

Image search: better to know about difference between American English and remember that doing search as advanced search, for example, like that:

  • braces (suspenders)
  • braces AND suspenders
  • braces OR suspenders.

This small defining dictionary contains over 350 words with generally known meanings of words in classic English - British English. Some words have more than one meaning but meaning that is a subject of comparison between two types of English is given first.

Some words` definitions have style comments such as: "informal" or "slang". Some words refer to "US": means American English.

To see more definitions of words - just scroll down.

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Definitions of words
Bathing suit - swimsuit: tight fitting garment worn for swimming.
Bathrobe - loose fitting robe of towelling; worn after a bath or swim.
Bathroom - a room containing a sink and toilet and used for bathing.
Bickie (US: informal style) - short for biscuit.
Bill (at restaurant) - document showing fees/charges for service provided.
Billion - the number [1 and 12 zeros (0)] = 1 000 000 000 000.
Biscuit - small flat sweet cakes.
Bloke (informal style: slang)- a fellow, a man.
Bonnet (re: automobiles)- 2: protective cover (a hinged metal) over the engine [syn: hood].
Boot (UK) - luggage compartment in a car.
Boss - person who makes decisions.
Boy - male child.
Braces - elastic fabric straps to wear bymen over the shoulders to hold up trousers.
Bread roll - a small round piece of bread.
Broil (oven broil) - cooking with direct heatin device called "grill".
Broom - tool for sweeping (or cleaning) tool with a long handle with attached straws or twigs.
Brush - device with a head with multiple and a head with multiple bristles (type of natural animal`s hair), used for cleaning, painting.
Bucks (US, sleng) - US dollar.
Buddy - a close friend who helps his buddies in their activities.
Bungalow - a small house with a single (1) story.
Bus - public transport vehicle for carrying passengers.
Cafeteria - type of food service where customers select their food at a counter and then carry it on a tray to a table to eat or are being served.
Candy (US) - sweet made or covered with rich flavoured sugar.
Candy floss - mass of heated sugar to eat, usually on a stick.
Canteen - informal restaurant with an all-day menu serving high quality British cuisine.
Car Journey/ drive - riding car.
Car park - outdoor area or a multi-storey building where cars may be parked.
Carbonated drinks - drinks that has had carbon dioxide dissolved into it to improve the taste.
Carrier bag - plastic shopping bag made of thin polythene.
Cashier - a person, who works at a till or receiving payments.
Cell phone - portable, wireless telephone (also : mobile, wireless or cellular phone).
Check (US)- bank document, a written order directing a bank to pay money.
Checking account (US)- a bank account where is a person`s money kept in a bank.
Check-mark - a tick; a mark (like v or X) used to confirm "yes".
Cheerio - a friendly way to say goodbye.
Cheers - a common toast used when drinking in company; sort of "thank you".
Chemist - a person who works in a drugstore.
Cheque - bank document, a written order directing a bank to pay money.
Chick (slang) - young lady, girl.
Chips - strips of potato fried in deep fat (french fries).
Christmas lights - strands of electric lights used to decorate Christmas tree, room, house.
Chum - a close friend who accompanies his buddies in their activities (buddy).
Cigarette - a thin cylinder of ground or shredded tobacco wrapped in paper to be lit and smoked.
Cilantro - or coriander: parsley-like herb used for seasoning.
Cinema - a building, for viewing motion pictures ("movies" or "films").
City centre - the central part of a city.
Closet - 1. a toilet - UK; 2. cupboard; 3. wardrobe: a tall piece of furniture with door and rails to store clothes.
Clothes peg - wood/plastic clothespin to attach wet laundry at line to dry.
Clothes pin - wood or plastic fastener; for holding clothes on a clothesline.
Coach - a large bus.
Coffee-break - a snack taken during a break in the work.
Colleague - at workplace a person who people work with.
College - an institution of higher education; often a part of a university. In France - part of secondary education.
Color - a visual attribute of things.
Colour - a visual attribute of things.
Come over - come to see us (me).
Come round - come to see us (me).
Comforter - a type of blanket made of 2 layers of cloth filled with stuffing and stitched together.
Condominium - estate housing consisting of a complex of units.
Conker - seed of the horse chestnut.
Cooker - a utensil for cooking.
Coriander - parsley-like herb used as seasoning.
Costume - a specialized style of dress to give characteristic of a period, country/class.
Cot - a small special bed for infants, babies.
Cotton candy - melted sugar, usually on a stick.
Counter-clockwise - motion (movement) in the same direction as the rotating hands of a clock.
Courgette - small cucumber-shaped vegetable marrow; typically dark green.
Co-worker - colleague: an associate that someone works with.
Creche day-care - day care center (university creche for children of students).
Crisps - a thin slice of potato, deep fried or baked until crisp.
Cross Walk - a pedestrian crossing.
Crossing Guard - a traffic management helper who is normally helps children to cross the busy road holding a special sign;
Cup Cake - a small cake.
Current account - or checking account: a bank account against which the depositor can draw checks that are payable on demand.
Cutlery - a collection of eating and serving utensils (knives, forks and spoons).
Day-care - center where supervision of children provided during hours when working parents cannot care for their children.
Dead-end - deadlock: a situation in which no progress can be made or negotiations are not possible.
Dear - costly: having a high price.
Delivery truck - a van suitable for delivering goods/services to customers.
Desk clerk - a hotel receptionist.
Detour - a roundabout road (especially one that is used temporarily while a main route is blocked).
Diaper(s) - an absorbent garment worn uually by babies (who are unable to use a toilet).
Dish-towel - a towel for drying dishes.
Diversion - a turning aside (of your course or attention or concern); "a diversion from the main highway".
Doctor's office - a medical center for patients to be seen by a doctor.
Down town - the center of a city.
Dressing gown - a robe worn home at times when there is no immediate need to fully dress.
Driver's license - document issued to a specific person by a government authority, permitting him to drive motor vehicle on public.
Drug store/drugstore - pharmacy, place where people buy medicines.
Dummy (babies) - device in a form of nipple used for babies to suck.
Dungarees - Heavy denim pants.
Duplex - duplex house: a house with 2 units and a common wall.
Dust bin - waste container.
Duvet - a thick, padded quilt used instead of blankets.
Editorial - leader (UK).
Eggplant - a brownish-purple color egg-shaped vegetable with a shiny skin.
Elevator - lifting device.
Escalator - device for transporting people, consisting of individual, linked steps that move up/down.
Estate agent - a person who acts in the sale, lease/maintenance of land, property real estate broker.
Expensive - high in price.
Fag - cigarette.
Fairy cake - small cake baked in a small paper cup; a cupcake.
Fairy lights - Christmas lights ( called fairy lights, twinkle lights - UK or holiday lights- US).
Fancy dress - costume worn at a masquerade party.
Faucet - tap.
Fill the tub - to fill bath with water.
Film - 1. movie; 2. photographic material.
Fire engine - fire appliance (large vehicle designed to assist in fighting fires) for transporting firefighters to the scene.
Fire Truck - fire engine.
First floor - ground floor: the floor of a building that is at or nearest to the level of the ground around the building (US, Europe).
Fizzy drink - non-alcoholic drink such as lemonade or cola.
Flashlight - a small portable battery-powered electric lamp.
Flat - suite of rooms, usually on 1 floor.
Flatmate - person with whom one shares a rental property.
Fog lights - lighting system of a motor vehicle consists of lighting and signalling devices, placed to the front, sides and rear.
Football - games played with a ball.
Fortnight - period of 14 days.
Freeway - a broad road designed for high-speed traffic.
French fries - pieces of potato fried in deep fat.
Freshman (US) - a first-year undergraduate (student, completed 1st year).
Full-stop - a punctuation mark (.) placed at the end of a declarative sentence (period).
Garage - a petrol filling station with small shop.
Garbage - rubbish.
Garden - a yard/lawn adjoining a house.
Gas (cars) - petrol for cars.
Gasoline - mainly used as a engine (motor) fuel.
Go ahead - green light: a signal to proceed.
Grad student (US) - graduate student: a student who continues studies after graduation.
Green fingers - a special ability to make plants grow.
Grill (oven grill) - a cooking technique in which foods are cooked by a radiant heat source placed below the food.
Ground floor - closest to level with the ground.
Governor [Guv'nor] - head of a state government.
Guy (informal) - youth or man.
Handbag (informal) - small bag used for carrying money and small personal items/accessories (especially by women).
Hand-luggage - baggage allowed to take on board of plane.
High-street - main street: street that serves as a principal thoroughfare for traffic in a town.
Holiday - leisure time away from work devoted to rest.
Hood - covering to worn over someone's head.
Hoover - electric device that uses an air pump to suck up dust (vacuum cleaner).
Ice lolly - water ice on a small wooden stick.
It's gone off - become spoiled (example: food), of not suitable quality.
It's spoiled - of not suitable quality.
Jacket potato - a baked potato served with the jacket on and filling (UK).
Jam-sandwich (British slang) - sandwich containing jam.
Jeans - trousers made from denim.
Jell-o - fruit-flavored dessert (trade mark Jell-O) made from a commercially prepared gelatin powder.
Jelly - dessert made by boiling gelatine, sugar and some flavouring.
Jam - fresh whole fruit and sugar cooked into a spread that preserves well.
Jumper - sweater: a knitted garment covering the upper part of the body.
Junior - 1. younger; lower in rank; 2. a third-year undergraduate.
Kerosene - petroleum based thin and colorless fuel oil (paraffin in British English).
Kit (sport) - standard sport equipment worn by players in association football.
Kitchen roll - paper towel.
Kleenex - generic term for a tissue (in US).
Ladybird - small round bright-colored and spotted beetle.
Ladybug - the same as ladybirds; believed to be good luck in the adoption community.
Lavatory - toilet.
Leader - a person who rules/guides others.
License plate - a plate mounted on the front and back of car with car's registration number.
Lift - device consisting of a platform that is raised/lowered mechanically vertically to move people from one floor.
Liquor store - American and Canadian name for a type of convenience store.
Lollipop lady - a woman hired to help children cross a road safely near a school.
London Underground railway - railway built below the surface of the ground.
Loo (short for lavatory) - toilet.
Lorry - vehicle for carrying goods and materials.
Mackintosh - rubberised waterproof (Mackintosh coat).
Mail - postal service to transmit (delivery) letters and packages to people.
Mailman - postman (UK).
Main street - street that serves main traffic in a town.
Mall - a public area set aside as a pedestrian walk.
Man - an adult person who is male (as opposed to a woman).
Marrow - egg-shaped vegetable with creamy to deep green skins.
Mate (sleng) - address to a gay, man, member of a team.
Mathematics - a science dealing with the logic of numbers.
Maths - a science dealing with the logic of numbers.
Minder - babyminder: a person who looks after babies.
Mobile phone - wireless electronic phone.
Mom (informal) - mother.
Motorway - type of road designed for high-speed traffic.
Movie - a form of entertainment as a motion picture (cinema).
Movie house - a theater where films are shown.
Movies - films.
Mum (informal) - mother.
Mummy (family) - informal: mother.
Nappies (plural) - absorbent garments worn by a baby.
Nappy - singular form for nappies.
National Holiday - legal holiday: authorized by law (day off for everyone working/ studying).
Nick - steal; take something without the owner knowing.
Noughts and crosses - 2-player game played on a 3-by-3 grid.
Number plate - metal plate with number for the vehicle.
Off you go - "go!"
Off-licence - shop selling alcohol for consumption only off the premises.
One - a single person or thing; "he is the best one"; "this is the one I ordered" (UK).
One way ticket - ticket to travel only to a place of destination, but not back to the place of departure.
Orchestra seats - seats for Orchestra on the main floor in a theater.
Oven - kitchen appliance used for baking or roasting.
Pacifier (UK: babies) - rubber, plastic device used for an infant to suck.
Pal - a close friend.
Pants - underpants worn by women.
Pantyhose (also called tights) - a woman's tights consisting of underpants and stockings.
Paper towel - a disposable towel made of absorbent paper.
Parking lot - open area, generally paved, where automobiles may be left when not in use.
Pavement - area for pedestrians; usually beside a street/road.
Peckish - hungry.
Peculiar - curious: beyond (different) from the usual or expected.
Pedestrian crossing - road crossing with diagonal stripes where pedestrians have right of way.
Pelican crossing - a pedestrian crossing with traffic lights that are controlled by pedestrians.
Period - full stop: the punctuation mark at the end of several different types of sentences in English.
Petrol - mixture of hydrocarbons which is used as a fuel in vehicles.
Pharmacist - staff of pharmacy.
Pharmacy - place where prescription drugs are dispensed.
Phone booth - telephone booth (box); booth for using a telephone outdoors.
Phone box - telephone kiosk, (telephone box - Ireland, UK); a small structure furnished with a payphone.
Plaid - different color fabrics crossing each other to form various size squares.
Plaster - small adhesive bandage to cover a minor wound; a sticking plaster.
Polo-neck - a sweater with a high close-fitting round collar, that folds over and covers the neck.
Popsicle - ice lolly: ice cream/water ice on a small wooden stick.
Posh - classy: elegant and fashionable.
Post - the system whereby messages are transmitted via the post office (mail).
Postgraduate - a student who continues studies after graduation.
Postman - a man delivering post to the people.
Potato chips (UK)- strips of potato fried in deep fat.
Potato crisps - the same as potato chips (USA).
Pram - baby buggy: a small vehicle with 4 wheels in which a baby or child is pushed around.
President (company) - an executive officer of a firm or corporation.
Private school - a school established and controlled privately by tuition.
Pub - tavern consisting of a building with a bar and public rooms; often provides light meals.
Public School - 1. a tuition free school in the US; 2. private independent secondary school in UK.
Pudding - the dessert course of a meal.
Purse - container used for carrying money.
Queue - area, where a line of people wait.
Quid (British slang for pound) - a pound sterling.
Railroad - railway.
Railway - transportation system consisting of metal rails and vehicles, connected together to travel on the rails.
Raincoat - a water-resistant, water-proof coat.
Ranch House - a one story house with a low pitched roof (US).
Range or Stove - heating kitchen appliance used for cooking food.
Real estate agent - term (UK) to describe a person/organization whose business is to market/sell real estate on behalf of its owner.
Realtor - real estate agent.
Receptionist - a secretary: a person in an office position a waiting area, whose main duty is to answer the telephone and receive visitors.
Reckon - to think: expect, believe, suppose ("I imagine she earned a lot of money with her new novel" = "I think she earned a lot of money with her new novel").
Rent (property/other valuable items) - to let to use something for money.
Return ticket - round-trip ticket: a ticket to a place and back (usually over the same route).
Revise - review or refresh (knowledge of something).
Road trip - journey via automobile (sometimes unplanned).
Roommate(s) - a person with whom one (you) shares a residence (not a relative).
Rotary - traffic circle: a road junction at which traffic streams circularly around a central island-shaped area.
Roundabout - type of road junction at which traffic enters a one-way stream around a central island.
Round-trip ticket - a ticket to a place and back (usually over the same route).
Rubber - rubber eraser from the elastic material (latex) to wipe off something written, drawn by pencil/crayon.
Rubbish - waste: an unwanted or undesired material.
Rucksack - backpack: a bag carried by a strap on your back or shoulder.
Run the bath - to fill bath with water.
Running shoes - trainers with sharp spikes in the soles.
Senior - 1. older; higher in rank; 2. in school (Australia): Year 11 and 12 - called seniors.
Shattered - ruined or disrupted (feeling very bad).
Shedule - timetable or schedule is an organized list, usually set out in tabular form (table form), providing information about a series of arranged events.
Shop - place of buying food, clothes, and other household needs.
Shopping cart - trolley that holds groceries or other goods while shopping.
Sidewalk - a paved footpath at the side of a road for the use of pedestrians (US).
Silverware - tableware (cutlery) made of silver or silver plate/stainless steel.
Single ticket - ticket only in 1 way.
Small - little; minor: limited in size or scope.
Sneakers - shoes, often worn for sports; trainers.
Soap - rub cleansing agent made from the salts of vegetable or animal fats.
Soccer - a football game in which 2 teams of 11 players try to kick or head a ball into the opponents' goal.
Soda - pop: a sweet drink containing carbonated water and flavoring.
Soft drink - non-alcoholic sweet drink.
Sophomore - term used in the US to describe a student in the 2nd year of study (generally referring to high school).
Spanner - synonym of wrench: a hand tool that is used to hold/ twist a nut/bolt.
Sparky - lively.
Sports uniform - set of clothing designed to be worn for sport.
Stand in line - stand in queue.
Starter - appetizer: food or drink to stimulate the appetite (usually served before a meal or as the 1st course).
Steal - take away something without owner`s permission.
Stockings - elastic garment covering the foot and lower part of the leg.
Stop LIGHTS - traffic light, a signaling device at a pedestrian crossing to indicate the correct moment to stop, drive, ride or walk.
Store - shop: place of buying food, clothes, and other household needs.
Subway - underpass: an underground tunnel or passage enabling pedestrians to cross a road/railway (UK).
Sun cream - lotion, spray, gel or other topical product that absorbs or reflects the sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation and protects the skin.
Sunscreen - a cream spread on the skin to filter out ultraviolet light and protect from sunburn.
Surgery - medical unit (place) for patiens to be seen by GP (generap practitioner doctor).
Suspenders (American English) - braces (British/Canadian English); fabric/leather straps worn over the shoulders to hold up trousers.
Sweater - knitted jacket without buttons.
Sweet - a food rich in sugar.
Swimming cozzie (US slang) - swimming costume.
Ta - thank you (UK).
Take-away - to buy and consume food from a restaurant/establishment that sells prepared food.
Take out - purchase (prepared food) to be eaten at home.
Tap - a valve for controlling the release of a liquid or gas.
Tartan - pattern consisting of criss-crossed horizontal and vertical bands in multiple colours.
Tea cart - table on wheels used to take food/drinks from the kitchen to the dining-room.
Tea trolley - table on wheels used to take food/drinks from the kitchen to the dining-room.
Tea-break - snack taken during a break in the work.
Tea-towel - dishtowel: a towel for drying dishes.
Telephone Booth - kiosk for using a public telephone.
Teller (US slang) - television.
Telly(UK slang) - television.
Terrace (housing) - row of houses joined.
Thousand million (US) - a milliard (European system) = 1 000 000 000; billion (in UK).
Through - from beginning to end; "read this book through"; throughout the entire extent.
Thru (US slang) - through.
Tick - a mark indicating that something has been noted/completed etc.
Tic-tac-toe - game, alternatively called 'noughts and crosses'.
Tights - close-fitting, sheer (clear) garment worn by women that covers the body completely from the waist down.
Timetable - listing events and the times at which they will take place.
Tinned food - food preserved by canning (method in which the food is processed and sealed in an airtight container).
Tissues - soft thin (usually absorbent) paper.
To bath - to have a bath (to clean a body into water).
To bathe - the same as "to bath".
Toilet - disposal system primarily intended for the disposal of the bodily wastes: urine and fecal matter.
Torch (modern meaning) - portable source of light.
Town House - row house: a house that is 1 of a row of identical houses situated side by side and sharing common walls.
Traffic circle - a road junction at which traffic streams circularly around a central island-shaped area.
Trainers - one or more pairs of shoes used for sports play or training.
Trash Can - a bin that holds rubbish until it is collected.
Trolley - a small wheeled vehicle for carryng shoppings/ items.
Trousers - article (item) of clothing that covers the part of the body between the waist and the ankles.
Trunk (of a car) - or boot, of an automobile or car is the vehicle's main storage, luggage, or cargo compartment.
Tube - metro.
Turnover - employee turnover: the ratio of the number of workers that had to be replaced in a given time period to the average number of workers.
Turtle-neck - garment (usually a sweater) with a close-fitting, round, and high collar.
/td> TV - television.
Underground - metro: an electric railway operating below the surface of the ground.
Underpants - clothes worn under other clothes, often next to the skin.
Undershirt (US)- underwear worn underneath a shirt.
Unique - highly unusual.
Upper-class - the class occupying the highest position in the social hierarchy.
Vacation - leisure time away from work.
Vacuum cleaner - an electrical home appliance that cleans by suction.
Van - a truck with an enclosed cargo space.
VCR - videocassette recorder.
Vest - type of collarless sleeveless upper-body garment.
Video - video recording.
W.C. - public toilet.
Waistcoat - sleeveless upper-body garment worn over a dress shirt.
Wardrobe - a tall piece of furniture that provides storage space for clothes.
Wash up - 1. wash one's face and hands (UK); 2. wash dishes.
Washing the dishes - washing of dishes after a meal.
Washing up - washing of dishes after a meal (UK).
Wellies - Wellington boots - rubber boots.
Wellington boots - rubber boots.
Wharf - pier: a platform built out from the shore into the water and supported by piles; provides access to ships and boats.
What's up? - "What happened?"
Wholemeal flour - containing or made from the whole grain.
Whole-wheat flour - made from wheat.
Whole-grain flour - flour with portions of a grain such as wheat, rice, or oats.
Windscreen - transparent screen (as of glass) to protect occupants of a vehicle.
Windshield -the same as windscreen.
Workshop - small workplace where handcrafts or manufacturing are done.
Yankee - an American who lives in the North (especially during the American Civil War).
Yard - land around a house or other building (US).
Zebra crossing - a type of pedestrian crossing with diagonal stripes.
Zee(Z)- Z: the 26th letter of the Roman alphabet (UK: call- Z zed; US: call - zee).
Zero (0) - the point on a scale from which positive or negative numerical quantities can be measured.
Zucchini - small cucumber-shaped vegetable marrow; typically dark green.


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