Definitions

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

  • noun One who teaches or studies the alphabet.
  • noun A beginner; a novice.
  • adjective Having to do with the alphabet.
  • adjective Being arranged alphabetically.
  • adjective Elementary or rudimentary.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Pertaining to or formed by the letters of the alphabet.
  • Pertaining to the learning of the alphabet, or to one engaged in learning it; hence, relating to the first steps in learning.
  • Another form is abecedary.
  • noun One who teaches or learns the letters of the alphabet.
  • noun [capitalized] A follower of Nicolas Storch, an Anabaptist of Germany, in the sixteenth century.

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

  • adjective Pertaining to, or formed by, the letters of the alphabet; alphabetic; hence, rudimentary.
  • adjective etc., compositions in which (like the 119th psalm in Hebrew) distinct portions or verses commence with successive letters of the alphabet.
  • noun One who is learning the alphabet; hence, a tyro.
  • noun One engaged in teaching the alphabet.

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

  • noun rhetoric A work which uses words or lines in alphabetical order.
  • adjective Relating to or resembling an abecedarius.

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

  • noun a novice learning the rudiments of some subject
  • noun a 16th century sect of Anabaptists centered in Germany who had an absolute disdain for human knowledge
  • adjective alphabetically arranged (as for beginning readers)

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Medieval Latin abecedārium, alphabet, from Late Latin abecedārius, alphabetical, from the names of the letters A B C D.]

Examples

  • In a wider sense the name acrostic is applied to alphabetical or "abecedarian" poems.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 1: Aachen-Assize

  • Graphic designer Paul Thurlby brings a distressed retro-modern sensibility to capital letters with "Paul Thurlby's Alphabet" Templar, 64 pages, $16.99 , a stylish take on the traditional abecedarian primer.

    Tales of Snow and Blue Horses

  • Hamby writes: These poems are from a twenty-six-poem sequence of abecedarian sonnets at the center of All-Night Lingo Tango.

    The Best American Poetry 2010

  • Hamby writes: These poems are from a twenty-six-poem sequence of abecedarian sonnets at the center of All-Night Lingo Tango.

    The Best American Poetry 2010

  • Where colonial children had pious primers " In Adam ' s fall, we sinned all " , today ' s children have a fantastic variety of abecedarian books.

    After Uplift, Ka-Chow!

  • Hamby writes: These poems are from a twenty-six-poem sequence of abecedarian sonnets at the center of All-Night Lingo Tango.

    The Best American Poetry 2010

  • I especially like her long abecedarian of “shadow georgics.”

    Breakthroughs : Ange Mlinko : Harriet the Blog : The Poetry Foundation

  • Lots of people are doing the abecedarian meme, but I was particularly taken by Clare Dudman's "X by Dr. Grump".

    Archive 2006-05-01

  • Lots of people are doing the abecedarian meme, but I was particularly taken by Clare Dudman's "X by Dr. Grump".

    Elsewheres

  • The juxtaposition of his carping, meticulous fetishizing of cuisine punctilios with that of his abecedarian, pompous-yet-undereducated plodding attempts to guild his prosaic sensibilities with grandiloquent language only serve to expose the charlatan behind the greasy, smacking lips and cheap, brass-plated tongue.

    Rouge

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