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 Sending video progress reports, thank you messages and other expressions of gratitude will be more heartfelt and stand out from the sea of communications that use the 26 letters of the alphabet. William Arruda, Forbes, "Digital Personal Branding Is Replacing The Business Lunch. Here’s What’s On The New Networking Menu.," 6 Apr. 2021 The second half of the alphabet will start back on Thursday. Olivia Krauth, The Courier-Journal, "Following smooth elementary return, JCPS middle and high schools to reopen Monday," 4 Apr. 2021 Along the way, participants visit a local bar for every letter of the alphabet. Sam Whiting,, "With Holy Mountain cocktail class, regulars bring the bar to their living room," 21 Jan. 2021 Medigap policies are standardized, and there are typically about eight different plans from which a new Medicare enrollee can choose (denoted by letter of the alphabet), all with varying benefits and costs. Nathan Bachrach And Amy Wagner, The Enquirer, "Allworth Advice: How Medigap insurance works," 31 Dec. 2020 Fred Armisen played a similar game with letters of the alphabet. Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, "The Otherworldly Comedy of Julio Torres," 21 Dec. 2020 Three or more rotors on the device used a stream cipher to convert each letter of the alphabet to a different letter. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Rusty but intact: Nazi Enigma cipher machine found in Baltic Sea," 4 Dec. 2020 Braille is a system of touch reading and writing for people who are blind or visually impaired in which raised dots represent letters of the alphabet. Jannette Pippin, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Raised dots on steering wheel are not Braille," 24 Sep. 2020 Hurricanes will no longer be named after letters from the Greek alphabet. Daniel Chaitin, Washington Examiner, "Greek letter hurricanes are no more," 17 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for alphabet

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for alphabet

Last Updated

12 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Alphabet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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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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