Ask Difference

Deputise vs. Deputize — What's the Difference?

By Maham Liaqat & Fiza Rafique — Updated on April 26, 2024
"Deputise" is the British English spelling for appointing a deputy, while "deputize" follows American English conventions.
Deputise vs. Deputize — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Deputise and Deputize


Key Differences

"Deputise" is commonly used in British English to describe the act of making someone a deputy. This term appears in contexts involving legal, political, or organizational roles where authority is temporarily assigned. Whereas, "deputize" is the American English counterpart, utilized in similar contexts but favored in the United States.
In literature and official documents, "deputise" will often be seen in regions like the UK, Australia, and other countries where British English is prevalent. On the other hand, "deputize" appears in American publications and communications, aligning with other American English spellings that simplify language usage.
The pronunciation of "deputise" and "deputize" slightly varies, with the former often sounding as /ˈdepjutaɪz/ and the latter typically pronounced as /ˈdepyəˌtaɪz/. This reflects the subtle phonetic distinctions between British and American English.
Educational systems teach "deputise" in countries following British curriculum, reinforcing this spelling among learners. In contrast, American schools teach "deputize," promoting consistency with American English spelling rules.
The choice between "deputise" and "deputize" can also influence perception, as readers might identify the writer's origin or the intended audience based on the spelling used.

Comparison Chart


British English
American English

Usage Regions

UK, Australia, etc.
United States



Educational Adoption

Taught in regions using British curriculum
Taught in American schools


Indicates British English usage
Indicates American English usage

Compare with Definitions


Act of appointing a deputy.
The manager had to deputise someone to handle the queries in her absence.


Act of appointing a deputy.
The sheriff decided to deputize a civilian to help with patrols.


Granting temporary authority.
The sheriff deputised local volunteers during the emergency.


To temporarily take over someone’s duties.
He was deputized to handle the negotiations.


To act as a substitute.
She deputised for the director during the meeting.


Granting temporary authority.
The mayor deputized the assistant to sign documents in his stead.


Authorization of deputy powers.
Local officers were deputised to enforce the new laws.


Authorization of deputy powers.
Several citizens were deputized during the crisis.


To temporarily assume the role or duties of another.
He was deputised to oversee the project last week.


To serve as a substitute.
She was deputized to represent the company at the forum.


Standard spelling of deputize


To appoint or serve as a deputy.


Same as deputize.


(transitive) To officially empower, authorize, pronounce, and establish (someone) to be a deputy.


Act as a substitute;
She stood in for the soprano who suffered from a cold


(transitive) to officially empower and authorize (someone) to act as a substitute in one's role or office
I deputize you to act for me while I'm away.


Appoint as a substitute


(intransitive) To act as a substitute for a person in their role or office


To appoint as one's deputy; to empower to act in one's stead; to appoint as one's substitute; to depute.


Act as a substitute;
She stood in for the soprano who suffered from a cold


Appoint as a substitute

Common Curiosities

Can "deputise" and "deputize" be used interchangeably?

Yes, they can be used interchangeably but should match the form of English being used.

Is there a difference in meaning between "deputise" and "deputize"?

No, there is no difference in meaning, only in spelling according to the form of English.

Where is "deputise" primarily used?

"Deputise" is primarily used in countries that follow British English, such as the UK and Australia.

Can anyone be deputized?

Typically, deputization requires legal authority or organizational power, so not everyone can be deputized without proper authorization.

What roles commonly involve being deputised or deputized?

Common roles include law enforcement deputies, temporary leaders, stand-ins for absent officials, and special authority in emergency situations.

Can the spelling of "deputise" affect the perception of a text?

Yes, using "deputise" or "deputize" can hint at the geographical or cultural orientation of the author, potentially affecting the reader's perception.

Are there any legal differences between "deputise" and "deputize"?

No, there are no legal differences; the terms refer to the same action but differ in spelling based on regional language preferences.

Can "deputise" and "deputize" appear in legal documents?

Yes, both terms can appear in legal documents, and the choice between them should align with the regional language norms of the document's intended jurisdiction.

In what contexts is it inappropriate to use "deputise" or "deputize"?

It's inappropriate when the person does not have the authority to legally or officially appoint deputies, such as informal or non-organizational settings.

What does it mean to deputize someone?

To deputize someone means to officially appoint them as a deputy or give them authority to act on someone else’s behalf.

How do I know whether to use "deputise" or "deputize" in my writing?

Choose "deputise" or "deputize" based on your audience's location and the version of English they use—British or American respectively.

Is the pronunciation of "deputise" and "deputize" significantly different?

The pronunciation is slightly different, mainly influenced by regional accents in British and American English.

What are the implications of deputizing someone in a corporate environment?

In a corporate environment, deputizing someone typically means granting them temporary authority to make decisions or perform duties in another's absence, implying trust and responsibility.

What is the historical origin of the terms "deputise" and "deputize"?

Both terms originate from the Middle French "deputer," meaning to appoint or assign, which itself comes from Latin "deputare."

Are there synonyms for "deputise" and "deputize" that are used internationally?

Yes, synonyms include "appoint," "assign," "commission," and "authorize," which are widely understood in both British and American English.

Share Your Discovery

Share via Social Media
Embed This Content
Embed Code
Share Directly via Messenger
Previous Comparison
Assignment vs. Assessment

Author Spotlight

Written by
Maham Liaqat
Co-written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.

Popular Comparisons

Trending Comparisons

New Comparisons

Trending Terms