spell·​ing ˈspe-liŋ How to pronounce spelling (audio)
: the forming of words from letters according to accepted usage : orthography
: a sequence of letters composing a word
: 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 Copyediting and proofreading help remove spelling mistakes and punctuation errors. James Nelson, Forbes, 17 Feb. 2024 There’s a difference between squalene and squalane—aside from the spelling. Jenna Ryu, SELF, 9 Feb. 2024 Holston hasn’t yet found an explanation for the discrepancies in spelling. Tracy Scott Forson, Smithsonian Magazine, 6 Feb. 2024 Being dyslexic, for example, means that Johnson struggles with his spelling but says that developing talent is his superpower. Orianna Rosa Royle, Fortune, 4 Feb. 2024 For every correct spelling on your child's writing assignment, for example, an M&M or a Jellybean is OK! Jenna Autuori-Dedic, Parents, 1 Feb. 2024 That name has four different regional spellings and pronunciations, according to the new paper. Jeanne Timmons, Ars Technica, 18 Jan. 2024 Entrants should be preparing for a streamlined process including reviewing credits, name spellings, titles, etc. Beatrice Verhoeven, The Hollywood Reporter, 1 Feb. 2024 The police department updated the spelling of her first name early Monday evening. Keith L. Alexander, Washington Post, 1 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'spelling.' 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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near spelling

Cite this Entry

“Spelling.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spelling. Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


: the forming of words from letters
also : the letters composing a word
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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