Blog/Grammar tips
14 April 2022
4 min read

Label or lable

Label or lable

Label or lable

As a professional content writing service, we've answered hundreds of grammatical questions, including 'Label' or 'lable'?

Many of us have seen both words used. But which one is correct? This blog post discusses everything there is to know about 'label' and 'lable'.   

The difference between 'label' and 'lable' is that 'label', which means a 'piece of paper, metal, cloth, plastic film, or other material related to a product or container, on which information is printed', is correct, while 'lable' is the misspelling. 


A 'label' can be a piece of paper, cloth, plastic film, or other material affixed to a product which information is written or printed'. Information printed on an article or contained is considered labelling. 

In general, labels are used in many ways. They provide information about a product's origin, brand name, manufacturer, use, disposal, and shelf-life. This information is usually governed by relevant legislation. For example, hazardous products, like flammable liquids, require a warning label in many countries. In a way, you could consider a 'label' as an identifying or descriptive marker. 

Here are some example sentences:

  • This shirt's label indicates it can be dry-cleaned. 
  • Unfortunately, I didn't read the label, so the yoghurt has expired. 
  • That dress didn't have a price label on it.
  • Our supermarket has its own label of cereals. They're great!
  • She put a label on this crate. 
  • Please read what it says on the label. This way, I can understand how to cook this sauce. 
  • This designer label is awesome! I love it!
  • I don't like to label this particular social group. Labelling people is a no-no. 


'Lable' is a common misspelling of 'label', so it shouldn't be used in writing or speaking. Some people confuse the way 'label' is pronounced and written with 'table', a word with similar spelling. However, as stressed in this blog post, 'label' is the correct form of the word, not 'lable'. 

Label as a noun

'Label' is mainly used as a noun and has several different definitions. For starters, 'label' could mean a sign or ticket that gives information about something attached or intended to be attached. Another definition of 'label' is a 'name given to someone or something to categorise them as part of a social group'. 

Additional label definitions

Also, 'label' can mean: 

  • A company that sells records
  • A music record label
  • A numerical designation in computing
  • A user-defined alias in computing
  • A tassel
  • A brass rule with sights used with a circumferentor to take altitudes 
  • The moulding by the sides and the tops of openings in medieval structures
  • The representation of a scroll containing an inscription

Here are a number of different sentences where 'label' is used as a noun:

  • This label shows that the scarf shouldn't be used with a dry cleaner.
  • Even though the label had priced this video game at $50, I bought it for $25 because there was a sale. 
  • This grand label signed my sister's punk group after hearing their demo. 

Label as a verb

Except as a noun, label can also be used as a verb meaning 'putting a label on something' and 'giving a label to somebody or something to categorise that thing or person.

Example sentences of 'label' as a verb:

  • They've labelled him as a cheater. That's unfair because he has never cheated. 
  • The shop assistant labelled all the quilts wrongly. This confused our customers.

How do you spell label in the UK?

Generally, 'label' is the norm. However, in British and Australian English, the past tense of 'label' is not spelt 'labeled' but 'labelled' with a double 'l'. This happens because adding a vowel suffix doubles the final 'l', like in 'travel', which becomes 'travelled' and 'cancel', which becomes 'cancelled'. 

Example sentences of 'labelled':

  • The schoolmaster labelled our lockers with our names. 
  • Nobody likes to be labelled as a scapegoat. 
  • The pharmaceutical company labelled this spray poisonous. 
  • Even though this jar was labelled as flour, the kids knew it contained candy. 

So, while writing or reading, remember that 'labeled' and 'labelled' are both correct! 

Etymology of label

'Label' was first used in the 14th century with the meaning of a 'narrow band of cloth'. It derives from the Old French 'lambel', and 'labeau', which means 'ribbon' or 'fringe worn on clothes' (think of the Old French meaning as 'rag'). It is possible that the Old French 'label' comes from Old High German' lappa', meaning 'flap'. 

The meanings of 'strip of cloth' or 'ribbon used to decorate dresses' are from the early 15th century. The general meaning of 'tag', 'slip of paper', and 'sticker' are from the 1670s. The concept of 'circular piece of paper in the centre of a gramophone record that contains recorded music' appeared in 1907. This led in 1947 to its modern meaning of 'a recording company'. 


Whether in English or other languages, some words are best to be confirmed before usage. Otherwise, you risk making grave grammatical errors. This holds true in the context of 'label' and 'lable'. 

The difference between these words is that 'label' is the correct spelling, while 'lable' is incorrect. To avoid confusion, you can note this down and learn it well or reach out to a professional content writing and proofreading service to avoid confusion. This way, you avoid dealing with complex grammar rules and misspelling situations. 

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