Spelling | Definition of Spelling by Merriam-Webster


spell·​ing | \ ˈspe-liŋ How to pronounce spelling (audio) \

Definition of spelling

1 : the forming of words from letters according to accepted usage : orthography
2a : a sequence of letters composing a word
b : the way in which a word is spelled

Examples of spelling in a Sentence

The American spelling is “color” while the British spelling is “colour.” The words “made” and “maid” sound alike but have different spellings.
Recent Examples on the Web WhiteSmoke is an excellent writing software that provides you with the most advanced grammar, spelling, punctuation, and style correction, as well as translation for over 50 languages. Popular Science, "Cyber Monday roundup of killer software and apps you want and need," 30 Nov. 2020 Note: This post initially contained a different spelling for Hassell's last name. Ramon Antonio Vargas | Staff Writer, NOLA.com, "Trevor Abney ID'd as New Orleans police officer shot in French Quarter," 31 Oct. 2020 The original reports about the mysterious Dawood seemed suspect because there was no record of a Lebanese academic by the name of Habib Dawood, nor anyone with a similar spelling. Tim Lister, Paul Cruickshank And Ghazi Balkiz, CNN, "Al Qaeda loses one of its most experienced leaders in mysterious murder in Tehran," 14 Nov. 2020 The worries were unfounded: Kevin periodically waltzed into the building, once even interrupting a spelling test by repeatedly banging his beak on the door. Washington Post, "The very British story of Kevin, the pandemic peacock," 29 Oct. 2020 Second-grade teacher Jen Kreis, who had four students in her classroom, guided all of her pupils through a spelling lesson. David Anderson, baltimoresun.com, "Some Harford County students back in classrooms for first week of hybrid learning," 22 Oct. 2020 At Mimosa Park Elementary School in Luling, second graders in Molly Forsythe's class are using spelling trees to study different spellings for the /ae/ sound. Staff Report, NOLA.com, "Mimosa Park Elementary School spelling tree sprouts leaves of comprehension," 22 Oct. 2020 Modern English Usage notes that it is now written with -er nearly 50% of the time, so insisting on the -or spelling is a losing battle. Melissa Mohr, The Christian Science Monitor, "Almost everyone feels like an ‘impostor’ at times," 5 Nov. 2020 First, double-check the spelling used to search your name. Mikhayla Dunaj, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan Election: What you need to know before heading to the polls on Tuesday," 1 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spelling.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of spelling

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for spelling

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The first known use of spelling was in the 15th century

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Statistics for spelling

Last Updated

5 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

Spelling.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spelling. Accessed 5 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for spelling


spell·​ing | \ ˈspe-liŋ \

Kids Definition of spelling

1 : an exercise or the practice of forming words from letters
2 : the letters composing a word What is the correct spelling of your name?

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