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Crossword clues for alphabet

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
Roman alphabet
▪ The miscellany of different loans make up an alphabet soup of SALs, SECALs and ESAFs.
▪ The initials of businesses speed through an alphabet soup at mind-numbing speed.
▪ Alongside the current assessment revolution are equally radical curriculum initiatives associated with a whole alphabet soup of acronyms.
▪ The new bureaucracy of alphabet soup agencies was in harness.
▪ Television stations were initially pleased by this alphabet soup.
▪ Oh alright, let's use the plain old alphabet one more time.
▪ At the same time, writing became more widespread, mainly using a simplified alphabet of only forty-seven syllables.
the Roman alphabet
▪ the Cyrillic alphabet
▪ Alphabetic systems possess an inventory of symbols, called an alphabet, to represent the individual phonemes.
▪ And then we all gave thanks that there are only 26 letters in the alphabet.
▪ Look at the alphabet semaphore chart to find out where to place your flags.
▪ Robert Woods adopts a new approach to teaching the alphabet.
▪ The famous alphabet length below Nellies Beck saw most of the action producing five of the top six weights.
▪ The initials of businesses speed through an alphabet soup at mind-numbing speed.
▪ The kine is analogous to a letter in the verbal alphabet.
▪ The new bureaucracy of alphabet soup agencies was in harness.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Alphabet \Al"pha*bet\, v. t. To designate by the letters of the alphabet; to arrange alphabetically. [R.]


Alphabet \Al"pha*bet\, n. [L. alphabetum, fr. Gr. ? + ?, the first two Greek letters; Heb. [=a]leph and beth: cf. F. alphabet.]

  1. The letters of a language arranged in the customary order; the series of letters or signs which form the elements of written language.

  2. The simplest rudiments; elements.

    The very alphabet of our law.

    Deaf and dumb alphabet. See Dactylology.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1570s, from Late Latin alphabetum (Tertullian), from Greek alphabetos, from alpha + beta. Alphabet soup first attested 1907. Words for it in Old English included stæfræw, literally "row of letters," stæfrof "array of letters."\n\nIt was a wise though a lazy cleric whom Luther mentions in his "Table Talk,"
--the monk who, instead of reciting his breviary, used to run over the alphabet and then say, "O my God, take this alphabet, and put it together how you will."

[William S. Walsh, "Handy-Book of Literary Curiosities," 1892]


n. 1 The set of letters used when writing in a language. 2 A writing system in which letters represent phonemes. (qualifier: Contrast e.g. ''logography'', a writing system in which each character represents a word, and ''syllabary'', in which each character represents a syllable.) 3 # A writing system in which there are letters for the consonant ''and'' vowel phonemes. (qualifier: Contrast e.g. ''abjad''.) 4 (context computer science English) A typically finite set of distinguishable symbols. 5 (context India English) An individual letter of an alphabet; an alphabetic character. 6 The simplest rudiments; elements. vb. To designate by the letters of the alphabet; to arrange alphabetically.

  1. n. a character set that includes letters and is used to write a language

  2. the elementary stages of any subject (usually plural); "he mastered only the rudiments of geometry" [syn: rudiment, first rudiment, first principle, ABC, ABC's, ABCs]

Alphabet (disambiguation)

An alphabet is a standardized set of characters used in writing a language, such as:

  • Alphabet (formal languages), a non-empty set of letters or symbols in mathematical logic and theoretical computer science
  • English alphabet, a Latin alphabet consisting of 26 letters used to write the English language
  • ISO basic Latin alphabet, a character-encoding standard

Alphabet or The Alphabet may also refer to:

Alphabet (song)

"Alphabet" is a song by French singer Amanda Lear, released as a single from her debut album I Am a Photograph in 1977 by Ariola Records.

Alphabet (book)

Alphabet is one of the most well-known poems of Inger Christensen, who was broadly considered to be Denmark's most prominent poet. The poem was originally published in 1981 in Danish as . An English language translation by Susanna Nied won the American-Scandinavian PEN Translation Prize in 1982.


An alphabet is a standard set of letters (basic written symbols or graphemes) that is used to write one or more languages based on the general principle that the letters represent phonemes (basic significant sounds) of the spoken language. This is in contrast to other types of writing systems, such as syllabaries (in which each character represents a syllable) and logographies (in which each character represents a word, morpheme, or semantic unit).

The Proto-Canaanite script, later known as the Phoenician alphabet, is the first fully phonemic script. Thus the Phoenician alphabet is considered to be the first alphabet. The Phoenician alphabet is the ancestor of most modern alphabets, including Arabic, Greek, Latin, Cyrillic, Hebrew, and possibly Brahmic. According to terminology introduced by Peter T. Daniels, an "alphabet" is a script that represents both vowels and consonants as letters equally. In this narrow sense of the word the first "true" alphabet was the Greek alphabet, which was developed on the basis of the earlier Phoenician alphabet. In other alphabetic scripts such as the original Phoenician, Hebrew or Arabic, letters predominantly or exclusively represent consonants; such a script is also called an abjad. A third type, called abugida or alphasyllabary, is one where vowels are shown by diacritics or modifications of consonantal base letters, as in Devanagari and other South Asian scripts.

There are dozens of alphabets in use today, the most popular being the Latin alphabet (which was derived from the Greek). Many languages use modified forms of the Latin alphabet, with additional letters formed using diacritical marks. While most alphabets have letters composed of lines ( linear writing), there are also exceptions such as the alphabets used in Braille.

Alphabets are usually associated with a standard ordering of letters. This makes them useful for purposes of collation, specifically by allowing words to be sorted in alphabetical order. It also means that their letters can be used as an alternative method of "numbering" ordered items, in such contexts as numbered lists and number placements.

Alphabet (formal languages)

In formal language theory, a string is defined as a finite sequence of members of an underlying base set; this set is called the alphabet of a string or collection of strings. The members of the set are called symbols, and are typically thought of as representing letters, characters, or digits. For example, a common alphabet is {0,1}, the binary alphabet, and a binary string is a string drawn from the alphabet {0,1}. An infinite sequence of letters may be constructed from elements of an alphabet as well.

Usage examples of "alphabet".

It usually had a separate cipher alphabet with homophones and a codelike list of names, words, and syllables.

The polyalphabetic class of ciphers, to which purple belonged, is based ultimately upon an alphabet table, usually 26 letters by 26.

Hebrew alphabet, became the repeated sh, or shin, the next-to-last letter, in sheshach.

But the idea of simple scribal manipulation, which would mean that such desires never even existed, and which is advanced by modern authorities and bolstered by the similar examples from other cultures and by the predilection of scribes for amusing themselves with word and alphabet games, seems the best explanation.

This gave him 20 letters, since j, u, and w were not in his alphabet, and in the remaining four spaces he inscribed the numbers 1 and 4 in black.

These code values did not change, any more than the mixed alphabet of the disk did.

Each row thus offers a different set of cipher substitutes to the letters of the plaintext alphabet at the top.

Since there can be only as many rows as there are letters in the alphabet, the tableau is square.

He enciphered the first letter with the first alphabet, the second with the second, and so on.

In this particular message, he switched to another alphabet after 24 letters, but in another example he followed the more normal procedure of repeating the alphabets over and over again in groups of 24.

Another normal alphabet, which merely repeats the initial letters of the horizontal ciphertext alphabets, runs down the left side.

He seeks the plaintext letter in the top alphabet and the keyletter in the side.

To decipher, the clerk begins with the keyletter, runs in along the ciphertext alphabet until he strikes the cipher letter, then follows the column of letters upward until he emerges at the plaintext letter at the top.

Encipherment in a polyalphabetic system, with its need to keep track of which alphabet was in use at every point and to make sure that the ciphertext letter was taken from that alphabet, could not compare in speed with a nomenclator encipherment.

The machine, to serve in the field, shifted its cipher alphabet irregularly by means of gears.