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From Late Middle English ortographie, from Anglo-Norman ortografie, Middle French orthographie, and their source, Latin orthographia, from Hellenistic Ancient Greek ὀρθογραφία (orthographía), from ὀρθός (orthós, correct) and γράφω (gráphō, write).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ɔːˈθɒɡ.ɹə.fi/
  • (US) enPR: ôrthäʹgrəfē, IPA(key): /ɔɹˈθɑɡ.ɹə.fi/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: or‧thog‧ra‧phy
  • Rhymes: -ɒɡɹəfi


orthography (countable and uncountable, plural orthographies)

  1. (linguistics) The study of correct spelling according to established usage.
  2. The aspect of language study concerned with letters and their sequences in words.
  3. Synonym of spelling: the specific method of representing a language or the sounds of language by written symbols.
    • 2018, James Lambert, “Setting the Record Straight: An In-depth Examination of Hobson-Jobson”, in International Journal of Lexicography, volume 31, number 4, DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/ijl/ecy010, page 491:
      In the colonial era there were two major competing orthographies for rendering words from Indian languages, the ‘Jones system,’ based on the spelling in the original language and requiring a substantial application of diacritics, and the ‘Gilchrist system,’ based on pronunciation and requiring less diacritics.
  4. (architecture) Orthographic projection; especially its use to draw an elevation, vertical projection etc. of a building.



  • (study of representing sound in writing): orthoepy (inexact)

Coordinate termsEdit

  • (study of representing sound in writing): orthoepy

Derived termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


orthography (third-person singular simple present orthographies, present participle orthographying, simple past and past participle orthographied)

  1. (transitive) To write according to established usage.