Definition of orthography
- the rules of English orthography
- A student of orthography is likely to be a good speller.
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'orthography.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
It's a damn poor mind that can only think of one way to spell a word! That quote, ascribed to Andrew Jackson, might have been the motto of early English spelling. The concept of orthography (a term that derives from the Greek words orthos, meaning "right or true," and graphein, meaning "to write") was not something that really concerned people until the introduction of the printing press in England in the second half of the 15th century. From then on, English spelling became progressively more uniform and has remained fairly stable since the 1755 publication of Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language (with the notable exception of certain spelling reforms, such as changing "musick" to "music," that were championed by Noah Webster).
: the way in which the words of a language are spelled
What made you want to look up orthography? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
Merriam-Webster's New Words Quiz—Fall 2017 Edition!
Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?TAKE THE QUIZ
Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.TAKE THE QUIZ