Simple Definition of orthography
: the way in which the words of a language are spelled
Full Definition of orthography
1 a : the art of writing words with the proper letters according to standard usage b : the representation of the sounds of a language by written or printed symbols
2 : a part of language study that deals with letters and spelling
Did You Know?
It's a damn poor mind that can only think of one way to spell a word! That quote, ascribed to Andrew Jackson, might have been the motto of early English spelling. The concept of orthography (a term that derives from the Greek words orthos, meaning "right or true," and graphein, meaning "to write") was not something that really concerned people until the introduction of the printing press in England in the second half of the 15th century. From then on, English spelling became progressively more uniform and has remained fairly stable since the 1755 publication of Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language (with the notable exception of certain spelling reforms, such as changing "musick" to "music," that were championed by Noah Webster).
Origin of orthography
Middle English ortografie, from Anglo-French, from Latin orthographia, from Greek, from orth- + graphein to write — more at carve
First Known Use: 15th century
Rhymes with orthography
autography, cacography, cartography, chorography, chronography, cosmography, cryptography, demography, discography, ethnography, filmography, geography, holography, lithography, lymphography, mammography, mythography, nomography, phonography, photography, pictography, planography, pornography, reprography, sonography, stenography, thermography, tomography, topography, typography, venography, xerography, xylography
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up orthography? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).