Tire Or Tyre: How Do You Spell Tire & Its Definition?

Robert Herrera-COR-Wheels

By Robert Herrera

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What word do you use to describe the rubber shell that surrounds the wheel? If it is “tire,” you’ve got a correct answer. How about “tyre”? Unexpectedly, it is still a proper response. Do not panic since both share the same meaning. 

The problem is that you need to define a term that matches the culture of your region. So is it “tires” or “tyres”? If you have no idea about that, scroll down to learn. 

Tyre Or Tire: Are They Different? 

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the definition of “tire” is derived from the word “attire,” which means that this part is the “dress” of the wheel. Other major sources show a connection with the verb “to force.”

Meanwhile, “tyre” appeared in the 1840s when the British started using malleable iron to make the wheels of railroad cars. However, publishers still used the etymology in traditional publications until 1905.

tyre by British

In other words, both words existed together in the 15th and 16th centuries. After this milestone, “tyre” became popular with the rise of pneumatic tires in the UK.

Despite many objections from the authorities, this spelling has maintained its presence and has become the standard in Great Britain, Ireland, and most countries of the Commonwealth since the 19th century. 

By contrast, the United States has not adopted this variant, and “tire” remains the only accepted spelling.

When To Use “Tire” And “Tyre”?

It is important to emphasize that there is no difference between “tire” and “tyre.” The latter is considered a homonym of the preceding in other dialects of English, such as Australian or British languages. 

The question is: how not to use the wrong words when writing? Refer to the spelling standard of your region.

“Tire” in American English:

Tire in American

This word has two main meanings. As a verb, it implies the state of “sleepy or grow weary.” The most common definition when it acts as a noun is “the outer part of a wheel is usually made of rubber and inflated with air.” Hence, do not be surprised if you encounter a sentence like “I tire of my flat tires.”

“Tyre” in British English: 

“T-Y-R-E” comes as a noun only – the rubber coating of a wheel in British or Australian English spelling. Though “tire” in England has recorded a strong penetration in recent years, you can still find “tyre” as a standard spelling throughout the long-standing language history.

Tire without rim

In addition to the regions mentioned above, refer to the table below to consider the usage levels of these two terms in other countries.

RegionsUsage Trend (out of 100)
New Zealand1882


There is no wrong word between “tyre” and “tire, only the one that fits your culture. In detail, the spelling “tire” dominates American English-speaking countries, while the British English-speaking regions often use the remaining option.

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Robert Herrera

President & Automotive Expert at COR Wheels

Robert Herrera has been with COR Wheels for 17 years and has a great passion for the automotive industry. During his time at COR Wheels, he has driven and test-driven a variety of vehicles.

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