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

Sporting one of the coolest names and name spellings in the business, Taeler Hendrix is all about wrestling for a cause. Jim Varsallone, miamiherald, "Growing up poor, this cancer-surviving wrestler with a cool name helps to end hunger," 29 June 2018 The spellings Cru and Crue were given to more than 50 boys in 2017, too. Megan Friedman, Country Living, "Chip and Joanna Gaines Tapped Into Two Trends When Naming Baby Crew," 25 June 2018 Many do not have cell phones, and health workers’ records may not include the correct addresses or even accurate spellings of names. Dina Fine Maron, Scientific American, "How Ebola Vaccines Have Helped to Usher In a New Era in the Outbreak Response," 23 June 2018 So far as can be ascertained this delectable potion is NOT the staple diet of the Esquimaux (check THAT spelling!). Julia O'malley, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaskana recipe: The historic Alaska cocktail," 22 June 2018 According to the Scripps National Spelling Bee, 11 million students across the country participate in the initial stages of the spelling competition in their classrooms. Susan Soldavin, Howard County Times, "St. Louis School team dives into robotics challenge [Clarksville]," 21 June 2018 Trump and others in the White House have made similar spelling errors in the past. Kevin Kelleher, Fortune, "Trump's Executive Order Misspells (and Ends) Family Separation Policy," 20 June 2018 Another version of the name uses the spelling Tru, inspired by the Eliza Dushku Fox series Tru Calling. Megan Friedman, Marie Claire, "The Meaning Behind Khloé Kardashian's Baby's Name," 16 Apr. 2018 The answer can provide important clues to the proper spelling. Kate Elizabeth Queram, Howard County Times, "Howard's three-time champ spells his way to national stage," 5 Apr. 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

9 Sep 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).


alleviating pain or harshness

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