# alphabet

## English

### Etymology

From Late Latin alphabētum, from Ancient Greek ἀλφάβητος (alphábētos), from the first two letters of the Greek alphabet, ἄλφα (álpha) (Α,α) and βῆτα (bêta) (Β,β), from Phoenician aleph 𐤀 and beth 𐤁 (house), so called because they were pictograms of those objects.

### Pronunciation

• IPA(key): /ˈæl.fə.bɛt/
• (uncommon:) IPA(key): /ˈæl.fə.bɪt/
•  Audio (US) Sorry, your browser either has JavaScript disabled or does not have any supported player. You can download the clip or download a player to play the clip in your browser. (file)
• Hyphenation: al‧pha‧bet

### Noun

alphabet (plural alphabets)

1. The set of letters used when writing in a language.
The Greek alphabet has only twenty-four letters.
In the first year of school, pupils are taught to recite the alphabet.
2. 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.)
1. A true alphabet, a writing system in which there are letters for the consonant and vowel phonemes. (Contrast e.g. abjad.)
3. (computer science) A typically finite set of distinguishable symbols.
Let $L$ be a regular language over the alphabet $\Sigma$.
4. (India) An individual letter of an alphabet; an alphabetic character.
• 2002, Eugene E. Dike, African myth of creation in African form of writing, Monsenstein und Vannerdat, ISBN 3936600406, page 30:
We realize the fact that the alphabet A has been used in many world scripts as a vowel with the others AEIOU.
• 2005, Satinder Bal Gupta, Comprehensive Discrete Mathematics & Structures, Laxmi Publications, page 237:
There are 26 alphabets in English.
5. The simplest rudiments; elements.
• Macaulay
The very alphabet of our law.

#### Translations

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