Modelling vs. Modeling – What is the Difference?

If you are an attractive human, you might be able to convince people to pay you to be photographed wearing expensive clothing and jewelry.

If you are less attractive, you might need to resort to a career designing and maintaining complex simulation software.

In either case, you will likely run across the words modeling and modelling. Do both of these words describe the same career?

In truth, whether you are showing off designer apparel, predicting weather patterns on a computer, or even assembling miniature versions of vehicles and buildings, the words modeling and modelling might both apply, depending on where on earth you are doing these things.

What is the Difference Between Modeling and Modelling?

In this post, I will compare modeling vs. modelling. I will use each of these words in at least one example sentence, so you can see them in context.

Plus, I will show you a mnemonic device that will allow you to choose either modelling or modeling, depending on your audience.

When to Use Modeling

modeling spellingWhat does modeling mean? Modeling can be a verb or an adjective.

As a verb, modeling is the present participle of model, which has several meanings. It can mean demonstrating appropriate behavior or displaying something, like fashionable clothes or the latest haircut.

For example,

  • Today, Sheena is modeling the fall look for fashion designer Pierre Montclement.
  • Teach the boy social skills by modeling appropriate behavior in situations relevant to his daily life.

Modeling can also be an adjective. In this usage, it describes something used for demonstration or display.

For example,

  • Jamie’s parents had to take him to the emergency room after he swallowed modeling glue.
  • Delaney’s modeling career lasted for 50 years until she retired to a rustic Italian villa and severed all ties with the fashion world.
  • To hear Nyle DiMarco tell it, his rapid rise in the modeling world has been pretty much accidental. –The Washington Post

When to Use Modelling

definition of modeling definition of modelling definition What does modeling mean? Modelling is an alternate spelling of the same word. It carries the same meanings and can be used in all the same contexts.

To be specific, modelling is the standard British English spelling, while modeling is the standard American English spelling.

  • A blue-eyed tea-seller from Islamabad has scored a modelling contract after featuring in an Instagram post that went viral. –The Guardian

The graphs below chart the usage of modelling vs. modelling in both of these language communities.

American English:

modelling versus modeling

British English:

how do you spell modeling

As you can see, the Americans prefer modeling by a wide margin, while the British prefer the opposite (Although, this preference appears to be slipping). These charts aren’t completely exhaustive in their scope, however, since the sample is only comprised of books written in English since 1800, but they provide a clear picture of contemporary usage trends.

When to Use These Words

You should use modeling with American audiences, and modelling with British audiences.

Since modelling has an extra L, the letter at the beginning of the famous British city of London, it is not difficult to reserve modelling for use with British audiences.


Is it modeling or modeling? Modeling and modelling are alternate spellings of a word that refers to demonstrating or displaying something. It can be used as a verb or an adjective.

  • Modeling is the American spelling.
  • Modelling is the British spelling.

Modelling is in keeping with the consonant doubling conventions in British English. For example, cancelled, travelling, labelled, etc.