al·​pha·​bet·​ic ˌal-fə-ˈbe-tik How to pronounce alphabetic (audio)
variants or alphabetical
usually alphabetical : arranged in the order of the letters of the alphabet
: of, relating to, or employing an alphabet
alphabetically adverb

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Experts say the discovery shines new light on some of humanity's earliest use of the Canaanite alphabet, invented around 1800 B.C. and the foundation of the all successive alphabetic systems, such as Hebrew, Arabic, Greek, Latin and Cyrillic. Eleanor H. Reich, USA TODAY, 12 Nov. 2022 At the time, Champollion, Young and their peers had mainly worked with alphabetic languages like English and French, in which individual letters and groups of letters represent different sounds. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 Sep. 2022 So how could China make its characters fit into a world dominated by alphabetic languages? Hugo Restall, WSJ, 1 Mar. 2022 Here is an alphabetic look at the other nine former quarterbacks coaching at their alma mater at the FBS level. Tom Layberger, Forbes, 25 Jan. 2022 The ballot also will include a list of replacement candidates in randomized alphabetic order. Deborah Sullivan Brennan, San Diego Union-Tribune, 1 Aug. 2021 As Lydia Wilson wrote for Smithsonian magazine earlier this year, the evolution of alphabetic writing advanced after the late Bronze Age collapse, around 1200 B.C. Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, 16 Apr. 2021 Here is an alphabetic look at a handful of them, competition that in some cases will likely carry over to fall camp. Tom Layberger, Forbes, 9 Mar. 2021 The first introduction of the Greek lettering system fascinated many in 2005, which had never been used since the international, rotating alphabetic name system began in 1953. Joe Mario Pedersen,, 29 Mar. 2021 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1543, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of alphabetic was in 1543

Dictionary Entries Near alphabetic

Cite this Entry

“Alphabetic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.

More from Merriam-Webster on alphabetic

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.