phonetic alphabet


: a set of symbols (such as the IPA) used for phonetic transcription
: any of various systems of identifying letters of the alphabet by means of code words in voice communication

Examples of phonetic alphabet in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Storms were originally identified through a phonetic alphabet, such as Adam, Baker, Charlie, and the same names were used during subsequent hurricane seasons. The Arizona Republic, 8 Sep. 2023 And most of these weren’t phonetic alphabets with consonants and vowels. Jennie Rothenberg Gritz, Smithsonian Magazine, 4 May 2023 At first, officials were using the phonetic alphabet to determine the storm names but switched to female-only names in 1953 - the legend about the change is that a member of the naming committee was angry with his spouse and wanted to name a storm after her. Mallory Nicholls, Orlando Sentinel, 31 May 2022 Just a few months later, the ICAO also approved the revised version, now known as the NATO phonetic alphabet. Kimberly Hickok, Popular Mechanics, 7 Mar. 2022 Modern Korean follows a phonetic alphabet called Hangul, meaning the syllables are generally pronounced as they’re written – unlike non-phonetic languages such as Chinese, which uses symbols to represent specific meanings. Jessie Yeung, CNN, 17 Jan. 2023 Her latest story focuses on a phonetic alphabet created by early Latter-day Saints in Utah. Saige Miller, The Salt Lake Tribune, 3 May 2022 The 38-character phonetic alphabet was created by early members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints living in Utah. Kaitlyn Bancroft, The Salt Lake Tribune, 2 May 2022 The creation of the phonetic alphabet, in contrast, forced our eyes to do the work. Nick Ripatrazone, The Week, 14 Mar. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1848, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of phonetic alphabet was in 1848

Dictionary Entries Near phonetic alphabet

Cite this Entry

“Phonetic alphabet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2023.

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