Does "recenter" have a British spelling?


I know that "center" and "centre" are the respective American and British spellings of the word, but is "recenter" spelt "recentre" in the British way, or not? I tried to Google for "recentre", but no dictionary came up with it. Actually, is that even a real word? I'm trying to get the word meaning

to bring back to the middle after being away from it

Qantas 94 Heavy

Posted 2013-09-14T01:48:20.073

Reputation: 113

Did you try to find out if recenter (not recentre) was a word? That would at least answer the first part of your question :) – WendiKidd – 2013-09-14T03:04:06.197

@WendiKidd: after looking up other sites, it looks like it doesn't exist. What would be a word or phrase that suits what I'm looking for (Google really isn't helpful for these things)? – Qantas 94 Heavy – 2013-09-14T03:12:34.397

1Recenter is definitely a word. Collins lists recentre as its British spelling, for what it's worth. – snailplane – 2013-09-14T06:49:34.657

1I suppose it might not be in that many dictionaries because re- is still relatively productive, and it's compositional with center (or centre). – snailplane – 2013-09-14T06:55:33.463

I know the noun "centre" is spelt "centre" in British English, but what about the verb? – Andrew Grimm – 2013-09-14T08:41:18.640

@AndrewGrimm In British English both noun and verb forms are spelt the same, "centre". – Nigel Harper – 2013-09-14T13:21:01.053

@AndrewGrimm You, like the OP, could answer that out for yourself by consulting a dictionary.

– snailplane – 2013-09-15T11:43:14.543



According to Google ngram viewer

it does exist; it's used about 1/5 as much as `recenter'.

but the pattern of "center" and "centre" is very different over time.

Odd.... and fuel for thought!

Peter Flom

Posted 2013-09-14T01:48:20.073

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Also interesting to look at the American corpus alone which shows that "center" only came to dominate US english a little over a century ago.

– Nigel Harper – 2013-09-14T16:25:48.633

Thanks - just looking at one more site obviously wasn't enough! – Qantas 94 Heavy – 2013-09-14T23:45:16.997

@NigelHarper That's because of Noah Webster's spelling reforms. Pre-Webster, we all used centre, and even post-Webster it took some time for center to catch on in the States.

– snailplane – 2013-09-15T11:45:43.493


If you're British, you can certainly recentre an image (on a display, for example). Americans, obviously, would recenter it. That's in the sense of to place or fix in the centre (again).

There was never a time when anyone on either side of the Atlantic would have spelt centre/center differently for verb/noun senses; the derived re- forms for verbs simply reflect the relevant "standard".

I suppose because I'm more accustomed to the British spelling, the American version puts me in mind of a non-native speaker's attempt to convey more recent. That's a complete no-no today, of course, but it was sometimes used that way a couple of centuries ago.

FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica

Posted 2013-09-14T01:48:20.073

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