If you speak English — and you probably do if you're reading this — an orthography or writing system of "A, B, C, D..." makes sense. The Serbian language uses a different orthography: "A B C Č Ć D Dž Đ..."

From Greek orthographia, meaning "correct writing," an orthography is a way to represent words by having set ways to spell and write them. Orthography helps you identify words so you can figure out their meanings. Different languages usually have different systems of orthography, and even subsets of language, like text-messaging lingo, have a sort of orthography.

Definitions of orthography

n a method of representing the sounds of a language by written or printed symbols

writing system
Linear A
an undeciphered writing system used in Crete in the 17th century B.C.
Linear B
a syllabic script used in Greece in the 13th century B.C.
show 21 types...
hide 21 types...
a particular orthography or writing system
forming words with letters according to the principles underlying accepted usage
picture writing
a writing system using pictographs
alphabetic script, alphabetic writing
a writing system based on alphabetic characters
an ancient writing system: having alternate lines written in opposite directions; literally `as the ox ploughs'
the use of ideograms in writing
hieroglyph, hieroglyphic
a writing system using picture symbols; used in ancient Egypt
point system
a system of writing or printing using patterns of raised dots that can be read by touch
Aramaic, Aramaic script
an alphabetical (or perhaps syllabic) script used since the 9th century BC to write the Aramaic language; many other scripts were subsequently derived from it
the script in which the ancient Persian language of the Avesta is written
a script (probably adapted from the Aramaic about the 7th century BC) from which later Indian scripts developed
Devanagari, Devanagari script, Nagari, Nagari script
a syllabic script used in writing Sanskrit and Hindi
the script (derived from the Aramaic alphabet) used to write the Pahlavi language
Uighur, Uigur, Uygur
the script (derived from Aramaic) used to write the Uighur language
a style of orthography characterized by somewhat rounded capital letters; found especially in Greek and Latin manuscripts of the 4th to 8th centuries
a spelling that is incorrect
an ancient wedge-shaped script used in Mesopotamia and Persia
syllabary, syllabic script
a writing system whose characters represent syllables
hieratic, hieratic script
a cursive form of Egyptian hieroglyphics; used especially by the priests
a point system of writing in which patterns of raised dots represent letters and numerals
a character set that includes letters and is used to write a language
Type of:
letters or symbols that are written or imprinted on a surface to represent the sounds or words of a language

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.