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The Collaborative International Dictionary

bigram \bigram\ n. a word that is written with two letters in an alphabetic writing system.


n. (context linguistics English) a pair, often of words or tags, used in analysis.


n. a word that is written with two letters in an alphabetic writing system


A bigram or digram is a sequence of two adjacent elements from a string of tokens, which are typically letters, syllables, or words. A bigram is an n-gram for n=2. The frequency distribution of every bigram in a string is commonly used for simple statistical analysis of text in many applications, including in computational linguistics, cryptography, speech recognition, and so on.

Gappy bigrams or skipping bigrams are word pairs which allow gaps (perhaps avoiding connecting words, or allowing some simulation of dependencies, as in a dependency grammar).

Head word bigrams are gappy bigrams with an explicit dependency relationship.

Bigrams help provide the conditional probability of a token given the preceding token, when the relation of the conditional probability is applied:

$P(W_n|W_{n-1}) = { P(W_{n-1},W_n) \over P(W_{n-1}) }$

That is, the probability P of a token W given the preceding token W is equal to the probability of their bigram, or the co-occurrence of the two tokens P(W, W), divided by the probability of the preceding token.

Usage examples of "bigram".

In ciphers, on the other hand, the basic unit is the letter, sometimes the letter-pair (digraph or bigram), very rarely larger groups of letters (polygrams).

Once I let my nose follow that clue, I started noticing other bigrams also corresponded to presidential initials.

And again, this presupposes that the would-be code breaker could recognize the bigrams, the nulls, the pattern in general.

Then he'd write a bigram on one side and pick a number out of his hat to be its diametric opposite, as you can see from the rough table on our graph.