al·​pha·​nu·​mer·​ic | \ ˌal-fə-nu̇-ˈmer-ik How to pronounce alphanumeric (audio) , -nyu̇- \
variants: or less commonly alphanumerical \ ˌal-​fə-​n(y)u̇-​ˈmer-​i-​kəl How to pronounce alphanumeric (audio) \

Definition of alphanumeric

1 : consisting of both letters and numbers and often other symbols (such as punctuation marks and mathematical symbols) an alphanumeric code also : being a character in an alphanumeric system
2 : capable of using or displaying alphanumeric characters

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Other Words from alphanumeric

alphanumerically \ ˌal-​fə-​n(y)u̇-​ˈmer-​i-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce alphanumeric (audio) \ adverb
alphanumerics \ ˌal-​fə-​n(y)u̇-​ˈmer-​iks How to pronounce alphanumeric (audio) \ plural noun

Did You Know?

Alphanumeric passwords are much harder for a hacker to crack than plain alphabetic passwords, since the number of possible combinations is so much greater. License plates usually contain both letters and numbers, since, for a big state or country, the plate wouldn't be large enough to fit enough numbers for everyone. In computing, the standard alphanumeric codes, such as ASCII, may contain not only ordinary letters and numerals but also punctuation marks and math symbols.

Examples of alphanumeric in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The LPRs capture an image of the car and its plate and convert the image of the plate into alphanumeric data that immediately is cross-checked with a national database — National Crime Information Center, orNCIC. Thomas Jewell, cleveland, "Hunting Valley council authorizes $65,000 annual contract for 25 automatic license plate readers," 27 Oct. 2020 As a technical matter, unlocking many smartphones is a trivial problem once the device is in the hands of a forensic technician, especially if the phone is locked with only numbers and not an alphanumeric password. Mattathias Schwartz, The New York Review of Books, "The FBI Team Sent to ‘Exploit’ Protesters’ Phones in Portland," 8 Oct. 2020 Both are composed of generic domain names followed by a pseudorandom alphanumeric string of seven to nine characters. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Activists’ phones targeted by one of the world’s most advanced spyware apps," 12 Oct. 2019 And the brand’s latest, four-digit CX-30 SUV is an alphanumeric migraine that doesn’t fit in the brand’s simple, single-digit sedan lineup (Mazda 3,6) or the three-digit SUV silo (CX-3, CX-5, CX-9). Dallas News, "Mazda CX-30 outshines its competitors — even the more expensive ones," 18 Jan. 2020 Formerly anonymous public servants became the topic of vicious debate among strangers with alphanumeric Twitter handles and pictures of dogs as online avatars. Damian Garde, STAT, "3 trends in biotech to watch in 2020," 26 Dec. 2019 Carr flipped through the letter, skimming the alphanumeric sequence. Yudhijit Bhattacharjee, CNN, "How the FBI tracked down 'the spy who couldn't spell'," 1 Nov. 2019 They were each given two minutes to shower, and addressed by staff with an alphanumeric code, rather than their names. Griff Witte, Washington Post, "They’re the refugees that Trump tried to stop. But now they’re here, and they’re ‘becoming Americans.’," 12 Oct. 2019 Password: lovedogs Error: Password must contain at least nine alphanumeric characters, including one number. Claire Friedman, The New Yorker, "This Password Is Invalid," 15 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'alphanumeric.' 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 alphanumeric

1950, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for alphanumeric

alphabetic + numeric, numerical

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Time Traveler for alphanumeric

Time Traveler

The first known use of alphanumeric was in 1950

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Cite this Entry

“Alphanumeric.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for alphanumeric



English Language Learners Definition of alphanumeric

: having or using letters and numbers

More from Merriam-Webster on alphanumeric

Nglish: Translation of alphanumeric for Spanish Speakers

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