Leveling or Levelling? Correct Spelling (UK vs. US)

In construction, “Leveling” is an important activity. However, what’s the correct spelling for this word: “Leveling” or “Levelling”?

We want to know what’s the correct form for this word and which one we should avoid. We also want to know more about the meaning and the appropriate usage for it.

Leveling or Levelling – Which Spelling Is Correct?

“Leveling” and “Levelling” are both correct forms for the word that means to adjust the height or amount of something. If you speak British English, use “Levelling”. If you speak American English, use “Leveling”. If you are in doubt, use “Leveling”.

leveling or levelling

Take a look at some examples below:

  • The construction crew was leveling the terrain in preparation for the building.
  • The construction crew was levelling the terrain in preparation for the building.
  • Theresa spent a good amount of time leveling the soil for her crops.
  • Theresa spent a good amount of time levelling the soil for her crops.

The Cambridge Dictionary agrees with our definition of “Level” and “Leveling”, adding that it can also relate to making things the same height or making things flat and horizontal. All of those are proper definitions of “Level”, that can relate to literal and figurative things.

In that sense, you can use the word “Leveling” (or “Levelling”) to address situations and relationships that seem uneven and need to be adjusted. That wouldn’t be considered offensive and is very common in some places. Use it if you feel that it expresses what you need to say.

Also, keep in mind that “Leveling” and “Levelling”, as alternate forms for the same word, are considered synonyms. They can also interchange if you feel the need to.

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Leveling or Levelling in the UK?

We know now that both “Leveling” and “Levelling” are correct and can be used without becoming grammatically incorrect. We want to know which form is more common in the UK: if it’s “Levelling” or “Leveling”.  Consequently, we’ll know which one we should use when addressing a British-speaking audience.

In your opinion, which one of those forms is used more often in the US, “Leveling” or “Levelling”? Take a look at the graph from Google Ngram Viewer below, and find out.

leveling or levelling UK

In the UK, the word “Levelling” is used more often than “Leveling”. That tells us you should prioritize using “Levelling” when addressing a British audience. That’s not to say that you’d be embarrassed if you used “Leveling”, but it could sound uncommon.

With that in mind, we’d like to point out that the usage of “Levelling” has been dropping in the last decades. While “Leveling” is increasing in usage, “Levelling” is trending down. That tells us that over time, the preferred word in the UK may change.

We should keep paying attention to it, to make sure we’re always communicating properly.

Leveling or Levelling in the US?

Considering that “Levelling” and “Levelling” are alternate forms for the same word and both are acceptable, we wonder which is more used in the US. In the UK, “Levelling” is more used. We think that in the US, the simpler form “Leveling” will be preferred and more common.

Let’s find out which one of those forms is used more often in the US, “Levelling” or “Leveling”. Take a look at the graph from Google Ngram Viewer below.

leveling or levelling US

In the US, amongst American English speakers, “Leveling” is more common than “Levelling”. That indicates that when addressing an American audience, you should prioritize using the simpler form, “Leveling”.

However, differently than what we saw in the UK graph, there aren’t any changes happening on the horizon. “Leveling” is the favorite by a large difference and keeps trending up, increasing in usage. “Levelling” maintains a steady spot closer to the bottom of the graph.

In other words, when it comes to the US, you may continue to use “Leveling” with no concern that it might shift in the near future.

Leveling or Levelling in Canada?

Canada usually follows the same rules as the UK, as a country that is part of the Common Wealth. With that said, we believe it’s safe to say that a Canadian audience would feel more comfortable if you use the form “Levelling”, instead of “Leveling”. We recommend you do so.

Leveling or Levelling in Australia?

Considering that Australia is also a part of the Common Wealth, we must keep in mind that this country tends to respect the British English rules when it comes down to spelling and manner of speaking. You should prioritize the word “Levelling” (and not “Leveling”) when addressing an Australian audience.

Leveling or Levelling in Other Countries?

It’s always interesting to see if the English-speaking world, outside of the US and the UK, would prefer one form or another. When it comes to “Levelling” and “Leveling” we suppose that people will follow the American trend, and prefer “Leveling”.

That’s not an outlandish assumption if we remember that people watch much more American film and television and would inevitably be affected by it. Which one of those forms do you think is used more often in the US, “Levelling” or “Leveling”?

Let’s take a look at the graph from Google Ngram Viewer below, and find out.

leveling or levelling usage

The graph shows that “Leveling” is the overall preferred form amongst English speakers, regardless of their location. What that tells us is that when in doubt about which form your audience will prefer, you should always prioritize using “Leveling”.

Final Thoughts

“Levelling” and “Leveling” are alternate forms for a word that means the same thing. In other words, they’re synonyms that can be used interchangeably. However, “Levelling” is the preferred variation in the UK, Canada, and Australia, while “Leveling” is used the most in the US.