al·​pha·​nu·​mer·​ic ˌal-fə-nu̇-ˈmer-ik How to pronounce alphanumeric (audio)
variants or less commonly alphanumerical
: 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
: capable of using or displaying alphanumeric characters
alphanumerically adverb
alphanumerics 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 Along with the alphanumeric legend standard on most keyboards, there's an additional set of legends printed in blue and orange. PCMAG, 15 Sep. 2023 Birders were able to decipher a unique alphanumeric code on a flamingo that had been banded at Río Lagartos, a breeding colony in Mexico, Lorenz said. Julia Jacobo, ABC News, 5 Sep. 2023 The Voyager is hot-swappable and comes prebuilt with your choice of linear red, tactile brown, or clicky blue switches and in a few key setups: USA (with shift symbols on the numbers), International (with no shift symbols), and Blank (dots instead of alphanumeric legends). Antonio G. Di Benedetto, The Verge, 5 Sep. 2023 As a result, the World Health Organization hasn’t granted them official names beyond their alphanumeric identifiers — leading to an unofficial system, circulating on social media, using celestial or mythical monikers. Rong-Gong Lin Ii, Los Angeles Times, 10 Aug. 2023 Aberdeen Swim Club’s public address announcer reads through each dive’s alphanumeric code pre attempt then scores for each competitor post attempt. Sam Cohn, Baltimore Sun, 17 July 2023 This is cumbersome, which is why some Web3 companies have carved out a small but profitable niche to allow users to translate their wallet address from alphanumeric garble to a username, or from 0xAA2B52A6DF7DBFD07640BDA2B373D37BACD81DF5 to simple.nft. Ben Weiss, Fortune Crypto, 17 July 2023 Users can also set up a longer, alphanumeric passcode that’s harder for bad actors to figure out. Samantha Murphy Kelly, CNN, 23 Apr. 2023 But even adding a special character or alphanumeric combination can only add so much protection from bad actors. Jennifer Korn, CNN, 3 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'alphanumeric.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


alphabetic + numeric, numerical

First Known Use

1950, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of alphanumeric was in 1950

Dictionary Entries Near alphanumeric

Cite this Entry

“Alphanumeric.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Sep. 2023.

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