chirography

noun

chi·​rog·​ra·​phy kī-ˈrä-grə-fē How to pronounce chirography (audio)
chirographer noun
chirographic adjective
or chirographical

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When Should You Use chirography?

Some might argue that handwriting is a dying art in this age of electronic communication. Nevertheless, we have a fancy word for it. The root graph means "writing and appears in many common English words such as "autograph" and "graphite." The lesser-known root "chir," or "chiro-," comes from a Greek word meaning "hand" and occurs in words such as "chiromancy" ("the art of palm reading") and "enchiridion" ("a handbook or manual"), as well as "chiropractic." "Chirography" first appeared in English in the 17th century and probably derived from "chirograph," a now rare word referring to a legal document or indenture. "Chirography" should not be confused with "choreography," which refers to the composition and arrangement of dances.

Word History

First Known Use

1631, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of chirography was in 1631

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Cite this Entry

“Chirography.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/chirography. Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

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