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 story was corrected to show that Pelosi is second in line to the presidency, not third, and corrects the spelling of the Ukrainian president's first name to Volodymyr. Vanessa Gera, ajc, 1 May 2022 Helm later changed the spelling of his first name to Levon. Bill Bowden, Arkansas Online, 10 Apr. 2022 Should the spelling of characters be abbreviated like acronyms? Jing Tsu, Wired, 23 Jan. 2022 The spelling and accuracy of the recipient’s name is often sorely overlooked. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 12 Oct. 2021 In March, Ukraine asked the world to practice its spelling. Ella Lee, USA TODAY, 13 Apr. 2022 And Gboard is getting grammar correction features, which should detect grammatical errors, not just correct your spelling. Chris Smith, BGR, 10 Mar. 2022 And be sure to scrutinize your resume for any spelling or grammar errors before hitting send. Kathryn Vasel, CNN, 20 Apr. 2022 And as Fergie herself knows all too well, people love a pop-song spelling lesson. Billboard Staff, Billboard, 19 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of spelling

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for spelling

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

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Dictionary Entries Near spelling



spelling bee

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Statistics for spelling

Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Spelling.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spelling. Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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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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