What is Alphabet?

The meaning of ALPHABET is a set of letters or other characters with which one or more languages are written especially if arranged in a customary order. How to use the alphabet in a sentence.

An alphabet is a standardized collection of basic written symbols or graphemes (referred to as letters) that represent the phonemes of various spoken languages. 

Not all writing systems represent language in this way; in a syllabary, for example, each character represents a syllable, and in logographic systems, characters represent words, morphemes, or other semantic units.


The Proto-Canaanite script, later known as the Phoenician alphabet, is regarded as the first alphabet and is thought to be the ancestor of most modern alphabets, including Arabic, Cyrillic, Greek, Hebrew, Latin, and possibly Brahmic.

It was created (as the Proto-Sinaitic script) by Semitic-speaking workers and slaves in the Sinai Peninsula by selecting a small number of hieroglyphs commonly seen in their Egyptian surroundings to describe the sounds, rather than the semantic values, of their own Canaanite language.


The English word alphabet was derived from the Late Latin word alphabetic, which was derived from the Greek o (alphabets). The Greek word was formed by combining the first two letters, alpha and beta.

The Greek letters were named after the first two letters of the Phoenician alphabet, aleph (which also meant ox) and bet (which also meant house).


An alphabet's number of letters can be quite small. At one point, the Book Pahlavi script, an abjad, had only twelve letters and may have had even fewer later on. The Rotulas alphabet now only has twelve letters. Although the Hawaiian alphabet is sometimes said to be small, it actually consists of 18 letters, including the okina and five long vowels. Hawaiian Braille, on the other hand, only has 13 letters.


Alphabets are typically associated with a standard letter ordering. This makes them useful for collation purposes, as it allows words to be sorted alphabetically. It also means that their letters can be used to "number" ordered items in contexts such as numbered lists and number placements.