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n. (context linguistics English) A writing system, similar to a syllabary, in which there is one glyph (that is a symbol or letter) for each consonant or consonantal phoneme. Some languages that use abjads are Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, and Urdu. Abjads differ from syllabaries (such as the Japanese hiragana) in that the vowel quality of each letter is left unspecified, and must be inferred from context and grammar.


An abjad (pronounced or ) is a type of writing system where each symbol stands for a consonant, leaving the reader to supply the appropriate vowel. The name abjad was suggested by Peter T. Daniels to replace the common terms "consonantary", "consonantal alphabet" or " syllabary" to refer to the family of scripts called West Semitic.