Definitions

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

  • noun The letters of a language, arranged in the order fixed by custom.
  • noun A system of characters or symbols representing sounds or things.
  • noun A set of basic parts or elements.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To arrange in the order of an alphabet; mark by the letters of the alphabet.
  • noun The letters of a language arranged in the customary order; the series of letters or characters which form the elements of written language. See the articles on the different letters, A, B, C, etc.
  • noun Any series of characters intended to be used in writing instead of the usual letters, as the series of dashes, dots, etc., used in the transmission of telegraphic messages.
  • noun First elements; simplest rudiments: as, not to know the alphabet of a science.

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

  • noun The letters of a language arranged in the customary order; the series of letters or signs which form the elements of written language.
  • noun The simplest rudiments; elements.
  • noun See Dactylology.
  • transitive verb rare To designate by the letters of the alphabet; to arrange alphabetically.

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

  • noun The set of letters used when writing in a language.
  • noun A writing system in which letters represent phonemes. (Contrast e.g. logography, a writing system in which each character represents a word, and syllabary, in which each character represents a syllable.)
  • noun computer science A typically finite set of distinguishable symbols.
  • noun India One particular letter used in writing a language.
  • verb To designate by the letters of the alphabet; to arrange alphabetically.

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

  • noun the elementary stages of any subject (usually plural)
  • noun a character set that includes letters and is used to write a language

Etymologies

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

[Middle English alphabete, from Latin alphabētum, from Greek alphabētos : alpha, alpha; see alpha + bēta, beta; see beta.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Late Latin alphabētum, from Ancient Greek ἀλφάβητος (alphabētos), from the first two letters of the Greek alphabet, alpha (Α) and beta (Β), from Phoenician aleph 𐤀 ("ox") and beth 𐤁 ("house"), so called because they were pictograms of those objects.

Examples

Comments

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  • She, she, she. What she? The virgin at Hodges Figgis' window on Monday looking in for one of the alphabet books you were going to write. Keen glance you gave her.

    Joyce, Ulysses, 3

    December 30, 2006

  • Suggestion for a simpler alphabet.

    September 21, 2008

  • a

    October 18, 2008

  • b

    October 18, 2008

  • c

    October 18, 2008

  • d

    October 18, 2008

  • e

    October 18, 2008

  • f

    October 18, 2008

  • g

    October 18, 2008

  • h

    October 18, 2008