from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A specialist in orthoepy, especially one of a number of scholars of the 1500s and 1600s who proposed reforms of English spelling so that it would more systematically reflect pronunciation.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun One who is skilled in orthoëpy; one who writes on orthoëpy.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun One who is skilled in orthoëpy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun someone who studies the way words are pronounced

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a practitioner of orthoepy (especially one of the 17th or 18th century scholars who proposed to reform English spelling so it would reflect pronunciation more closely)


Sorry, no etymologies found.


The word orthoepist has been adopted in honor of Charles Harrington Elster (1957-2023).

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  • “The dictionary proper incorporated often very substantial notes about words on whose pronunciations opinions were divided, frequently quoting a dozen or so other “orthoepists�? (an awkward, now fortunately largely discarded, word offered as pronounced /`ɔ�?θəʊepɪsts/ etc by the dictionaries) in doing so.�?

    Jack Windsor Lewis, in the blog entry “John Walker�? (2009-4-18).

    March 19, 2009

  • Check it out: "An orthoepist, in case you’re wondering, is a pronunciation expert, specifically someone who studies correct pronunciation (Greek orthos, right, correct + epos, word) and who issues opinions about how words are properly or improperly spoken."

    - Charles Harrington Elster, Wordnik’s new orthoepist, from the blog.

    June 18, 2010

  • Can this be right? Can this be left? Can this be nounced?

    May 5, 2011

  • the chief orthoepist (pronunciation expert) for <i>Black’s</i> is Charles Harrington Elster, whose research into the evolution of American pronunciation is second to none.
    Bryan A. Garner, "Is your pronunciation on point? Take this quiz to find out," <i>ABA Journal,</i> Nov. 2015,

    November 6, 2015