al·​pha·​bet | \ˈal-fə-ˌbet, -bət\

Definition of alphabet 

1a : a set of letters or other characters with which one or more languages are written especially if arranged in a customary order

b : a system of signs or signals that serve as equivalents for letters

alphabet table

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Examples of alphabet in a Sentence

The Roman alphabet begins with “A” and ends with “Z.” you need to learn the alphabet of genealogy before you can move on to more advanced study

Recent Examples on the Web

Add alphabet stickers in corner or center of notebook desired to spell out recipient's name or monogram. Sarah Newell, Seventeen, "11 Ridiculously Awesome DIY Gifts for Your BFFs," 15 Nov. 2017 This quick-and-easy recipe combines shredded chicken and sliced celery, carrots and zucchini with alphabet pasta for a playful way to warm up. Tracey Seaman, Woman's Day, "Chicken-Alphabet Minestrone," 31 Dec. 2011 Some struggled to speak and a 12-year-old girl did not know the full alphabet. Washington Post, "Couple to face trial on child abuse charges," 22 June 2018 In a photo Cohen shared on Twitter, which has since gone viral, the lyrics are colorfully drawn on a poster plastered right next to the alphabet. Leah Rodriguez, The Cut, "Now Kindergartners Are Learning Creepy Lockdown-Drill Nursery Rhymes in School," 7 June 2018 India created her own take on the alphabet by crafting delicate sterling silver vermeil pendant necklaces that spotlight the motifs. Emily Selter, Town & Country, "India Hicks’s Newest Jewelry Collection Was Inspired by Her Father," 4 Apr. 2017 Along with the code terms, the Navajo Code Talkers developed an alphabet system using Navajo words. Shondiin Silversmith, azcentral, "Navajo Code Talkers created an unbreakable code. It helped win World War II," 11 July 2018 The old standby car games, including license plate bingo and the alphabet scavenger hunt, can keep younger kids busy. Mari-jane Williams,, "Finding the fun in a family road trip," 20 June 2018 Two of his tales describe the invention of the alphabet and the invention of letter-writing. The Economist, "A history of big-headedness," 31 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'alphabet.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of alphabet

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for alphabet

Middle English alphabete, from Late Latin alphabetum, from Greek alphabētos, from alpha + bēta beta

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Statistics for alphabet

Last Updated

6 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for alphabet

The first known use of alphabet was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for alphabet



English Language Learners Definition of alphabet

: the letters of a language arranged in their usual order


al·​pha·​bet | \ˈal-fə-ˌbet \

Kids Definition of alphabet

: the letters used in writing a language arranged in their regular order

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Comments on alphabet

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