spell·​ing | \ ˈspe-liŋ How to pronounce spelling (audio) \

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 This was one of the questions left over from 2020 — a stumper because your spelling was too correct. Paula Allen, ExpressNews.com, "From James Brown to Jane Fonda, San Antonio’s downtown Pusi-Kat Club kept youth dancing in 1960s," 9 Jan. 2021 This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Chenelle Jones' first name. Andrew Welsh-huggins And Farnoush Amiri, Star Tribune, "Activists: Next Columbus police chief must be an outsider," 29 Jan. 2021 Powell has still been involved in Trump’s fight against the election results, filing lawsuits riddled with spelling errors and expert witnesses who lack expertise. Elizabeth Thompson, Dallas News, "Dallas lawyer Sidney Powell’s Texas roots: Ambition, prestige and a propensity for conspiracy theories," 15 Jan. 2021 Read the cover letter aloud and check for spelling and grammatical errors or typos. Allison Pohle, WSJ, "How to Write a Cover Letter That Stands Out," 11 Nov. 2020 Follow Alicia Rancilio online at http://www.twitter.com/aliciar —- This story corrects the spelling of Jason Segel's last name. Alicia Rancilio, Star Tribune, "'Our Friend' is an opportunity for a good cry — if wanted," 22 Jan. 2021 The Akron Police Department incident report lists the spelling of Ms. Weems' first name as Ericka. David Close, CNN, "LeBron James asks public to help find the killer of his friend's sister," 4 Nov. 2020 But about a quarter of those who revised their comment did so to navigate around the toxicity filter, by changing the spelling or spacing of an offensive word to try to skirt algorithmic detection. Arielle Pardes, Wired, "To Clean Up Comments, Let AI Tell Users Their Words Are Trash," 22 Sep. 2020 The alternative spelling for Emory might sound pretty, but according to the SSA it's dropped 463 three slots, from number 989 in 2018, to number 1452 in 2019. Jill Gleeson, Country Living, "The Most Popular Baby Girl Names for 2021," 28 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for spelling

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for spelling

Last Updated

21 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Spelling.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spelling. Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

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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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