Indorsement vs. Endorsement – What’s the Difference?

English contains many uncommon words that are only used in specific contexts. In some cases, these words may cross the border into jargon, but in other cases, they allow for clear distinctions between concepts which may be difficult to explain using other words.

Endorsement and indorsement are two similar words that many writers confuse. Indorsement is the rarer term, and it only appears in reference to certain financial documents.

Still, if you are writing in the financial industry or reading legal documents, you will need to know the difference between these words, as well as when to use each.

What is The Difference Between Indorsement and Endorsement?

In this post, I will compare indorsement vs. endorsement. I will use each of these words in example sentences.

Then, at the end, I will reveal a helpful memory tool that you can use to remind yourself whether indorsement or endorsement is the proper term, based on the context of your writing.

When to Use Endorsement

endorsement versus indorsementWhat does endorsement mean? Endorsement is a noun. An endorsement is a public indication of approval or support.

Here are some example sentences,

  • The endorsement from a popular religious leader gave the presidential candidate a boost in the polls.
  • “I do not give my endorsement to the terms of this merger agreement,” said the company representative.
  • “I seek the endorsement of the American people,” said the politician.
  • The Journal editorial board, which is separate from the newsroom, abstained from an endorsement in the presidential race. –The Wall Street Journal

When to Use Indorsement

Definition of indorsement definition of endorsement definitionWhat does indorsement mean? Indorsement is also a noun. In American English, an indorsement is a signature on a legal or financial document, especially a check.

See the sentences below for common examples.

  • “This check has the indorsement of one Charles J. Macallaster,” said the detective.
  • You cannot deposit or cash a check that does not have your indorsement.
  • “This indorsement is illegible,” said the banker, in exasperation.

While endorsement is sometimes used in place of indorsement for legal contexts, indorsement is never used in place of endorsement for a public indication of approval.

For example,

  • In order to make this contract valid, I will need your endorsement. (Correct)
  • In order to make this contract valid, I will need your indorsement. (Correct)

-but-

  • The president endorsed me as his successor. (Correct)
  • The president indorsed me as his successor. (Incorrect)

Trick to Remember the Difference

Define indorsement and define endorsementEndorsement and indorsement are both nouns. Indorsement is only used in financial contexts, and then only rarely. Even most checks say “endorse here,” rather than “indorse here.”

For any public show of support, endorsement is the only spelling. Choose endorsement for financial contexts in British English, as well.

For financial contexts in American English, choose indorsement if your audience is exceptionally strict with regard to legal terminology. For common usage, endorsement is fine here, too.

Here is a helpful trick to remember endorsement vs. indorsement.

Since endorsement begins with the letter E, like everyday, you can remember to use endorsement for everyday financial contexts, as well as to indicate public showings of support.

Summary

Is it indorsement or endorsement? While indorsement and endorsement are both nouns, they refer to different concepts.

  • An endorsement is a public indication of approval or support.
  • An indorsement is a legal signature on some financial documents, like checks.

Indorsement is used in American English, but only rarely. If you are not writing for an audience which expects strict legal terminology, you can use endorsement in these contexts as well.

Since endorsement and everyday both begin with the same letter, you can remember to use endorsement in most day-to-day writing contexts.

If you need a quick refresher, be sure to check this article to jog your memory.

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