spell·ing | \ˈspe-liŋ \

Definition of spelling 

1 : the forming of words from letters according to accepted usage : orthography

2a : a sequence of letters composing a word

b : the way in which a word is spelled

Examples of spelling in a Sentence

The American spelling is “color” while the British spelling is “colour.” The words “made” and “maid” sound alike but have different spellings.

Recent Examples on the Web

Less than an hour later, the show was trending worldwide on Twitter with two different spellings. Emily Yahr, BostonGlobe.com, "Why ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ fans are taking its cancellation so hard," 11 May 2018 Authorities had previously identified the suspect with a different spelling of his first name. Bloomberg.com, "Sheriff IDs Shooting Suspect as Nikolas Cruz," 14 Feb. 2018 Luckily, grammar sticklers have pointed out the mistake on many posts using the incorrect spelling. Andrew Clark, Indianapolis Star, "America can't spell: Melania Trump, others use #IndependanceDay — not Independence Day," 4 July 2018 The cultural assumption and the sort of cliché version of this is our parents pushing us to be in the spelling bee. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Fog Creek Software CEO Anil Dash answers all the questions on Too Embarrassed to Ask," 8 July 2018 Taking the stage with more than 500 spellers, Sundar made it to the seventh round of the spelling bee. Susan Soldavin, Howard County Times, "St. Louis School team dives into robotics challenge [Clarksville]," 21 June 2018 The first national spelling bee was organized in 1925 by the Louisville Courier-Journal and was taken over in 1941 by the old Scripps-Howard Newspapers chain. Robert Moran, Philly.com, "Girls from Cherry Hill, Aston fall short in final round of National Spelling Bee," 31 May 2018 Like, if my spelling and grammar was that bad, I’d be canceled. refinery29.com, "Was This Beef Really Worth Cardi B Deleting Her Instagram?," 12 May 2018 Like, if my spelling and grammar was that bad, I’d be canceled. Dave Quinn, PEOPLE.com, "Cardi B Claps Back at Azealia Banks for 'Illiterate, Untalented' Comments — Then Leaves Social Media," 12 May 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for spelling

Last Updated

21 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for spelling

The first known use of spelling was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for spelling


spell·ing | \ˈspe-liŋ\

Kids Definition of spelling

1 : an exercise or the practice of forming words from letters

2 : the letters composing a word What is the correct spelling of your name?

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Comments on spelling

What made you want to look up spelling? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a state of commotion or excitement

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