al·​pha·​bet | \ ˈal-fə-ˌbet How to pronounce alphabet (audio) , -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

And then [the dialect coach] took me through the Russian alphabet and what the sounds were. Los Angeles Times, "After ‘It Chapter Two’ and ‘Stranger Things,’ Finn Wolfhard is an accidental horror star," 5 Sep. 2019 Protestant missionaries had brought the Roman alphabet and the printing press in the 1820s. Noelle Swan, The Christian Science Monitor, "Whose independence? Why some Native Hawaiians don’t celebrate on July 4.," 2 July 2019 Laguna Terrace Park is nestled above South Coast Highway, with its rows of homes tucked tightly together on a web of streets named for letters of the alphabet. Julia Sclafani, Daily Pilot, "Laguna Beach woman found dead in home is remembered as ‘awesome and loving'; son is suspected of murder," 19 Aug. 2019 The font, available for free online, turns misshapen and heavily gerrymandered districts into an entire alphabet. Emma Keith, Detroit Free Press, "New Gerry type font highlights Michigan gerrymandering," 1 Aug. 2019 The Highland Park native has created a new book with a short essay for each letter of the alphabet to help others achieve that goal. Myrna Petlicki,, "Shout Out: Courtney Anixter, a newly published author from Highland Park," 9 July 2019 In August, the linguists proposed using an alphabet that largely followed the Turkish model. Andrew Higgins, New York Times, "Kazakhstan Cheers New Alphabet, Except for All Those Apostrophes," 15 Jan. 2018 Those letters constitute an alphabet that ultimately spells out how to make proteins. Quanta Magazine, "Is a Bigger Genetic Code Better? Get Ready to Find Out," 2 Jan. 2018 Like the alphabets your hands write into existence, each of these gestures has assigned meanings. Vanessa Chang, WIRED, "How Phone Taps and Swipes Train Us to Be Better Consumers," 10 July 2019

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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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 How to pronounce alphabet (audio) \

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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recurring in steady succession

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