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Basically, everything is in the title.

I've seen on the web that tire is US english, while tyre is British English.

But then I asked some british friends graduating in Language & Litterature, and they said to me that tyre tends to disappear in England.

Could somebody comfirm me this ?

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1  
Do your British friends have any evidence for the decline in the use of tyre? – mikeagg Feb 16 at 12:33
up vote 8 down vote accepted

It is a question of regional usage but according to The Grammarist tire is used mainly in the US and Canada:

  • Tire and tyre both mean a covering for a wheel, usually made of rubber. Tire is the preferred spelling in the U.S. and Canada. Tyre is preferred in most varieties of English outside North America.

  • Of course, all English speakers use tire in the sense to grow weary.

This preference appears to be confirmed also by Ngram:

Ngram a tire in BrE vs AmE.

Ngram a tyre in BrE vs AmE.

Examples

(U.K.)

Advanced systems to monitor fuel and tyre usage give the company a clear picture of how its fleet is performing. [Guardian]

The machinery would enable the factory to produce the latest generation of car tyres, the company said. [BBC News]

(U.S.)

He said that he had just returned to Haiti from studying business in Canada, and that he was helping his father run a tire retread factory. [NY Times]

Andretti also worries about drivers who neglect the simple things, such as checking their tire pressures. [Globe and Mail]

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4  
Your Ngram is distorted because he tires easily is common both sides of the pond. A tire is extremely rare in the UK; at best it would mark you as a Western barbarian. – TimLymington Feb 16 at 11:31
    
Lymington is correct, to tire is a verb and "s/he tires" will also be reflected in the Ngram link. Try this Ngram chart instead books.google.com/ngrams/… – Mari-Lou A Feb 16 at 13:50
    
Ngram has been updated. – Josh61 Feb 16 at 15:09
1  
FWIW i'm in the UK and don't recall seeing the word "tire" used for the rubber parts of a car wheel. – Max Williams Feb 17 at 8:31

Your web research is correct. Your friends may be correct in their social circle, but across the whole of England they are not correct. As a quick check, I looked at UK websites for vehicle servicing:

kwik-fit:

We stock a wide range of tyres

Halfords Autocentres:

Book tyres online with our quick and easy tyre size finder.

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Do a Google Ngram search for radial tires,radial tyres or Michelin tires,Michelin tyres and see what you get (British English, of course). You might be surprised! – Steven Littman Feb 16 at 19:47
    
@StevenLittman - And the answer is a surprisingly high number of hits for "Michelin tires" given that it's supposed to be "British English". So I click on "2004-2008" at the bottom for "Michelin tires". 1st hit published in Zurich (Switzerland), 2nd hit published in Hong Kong, 3rd hit published in The Hague (Netherlands), 4th hit published in Houston (USA). My trust in google Ngram's "British English" search has been drastically reduced! – AndyT Feb 17 at 9:07
    
I'm tiring of this discussion! But anyway, perhaps those books were meant for British distribution. – Steven Littman Feb 17 at 11:20

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