An alphabet is a standardized sort of basic result symbols or graphemes called letters that constitute the phonemes ofspoken languages. non all writing systems symbolize language in this way; in a syllabary, each consultation represents a syllable, for instance, as well as logographic systems usage characters to represent words, morphemes, or other semantic units.

The first fully phonemic script, the Proto-Canaanite script, later required as the Phoenician alphabet, is considered to be the number one alphabet as alive as is the ancestor of nearly contemporary alphabets, including Arabic, Cyrillic, Greek, Hebrew, Latin, & possibly Brahmic. It was created by Semitic-speaking workers together with slaves in the Sinai Peninsula as the Proto-Sinaitic script, by selecting a small number of hieroglyphs usually seen in their Egyptian surroundings to describe the sounds, as opposed to the semantic values, of their own Canaanite language. However, Peter T. Daniels distinguishes an abugida, or alphasyllabary, a set of graphemes that represent consonantal base letters which diacritics conform to represent vowels as in Devanagari and other South Asian scripts, an abjad, in which letters predominantly or exclusively represent consonants as in the original Phoenician, Hebrew or Arabic, and an "alphabet", a set of graphemes that represent both consonants and vowels. In this narrow sense of the word the first true alphabet was the Greek alphabet, which was developed on the basis of the earlier Phoenician alphabet.

Of the dozens of alphabets in usage today, the almost popular is the Latin alphabet, which was derived from the Greek, and which is now used by many languages world-wide, often with the addition of extra letters or diacritical marks. While near alphabets draw letters composed of cut linear writing, there are also exceptions such(a) as the alphabets used in Braille. The Khmer alphabet for Khmer is the longest, with 74 letters.

Alphabets are usually associated with a indications ordering of letters. This lets them useful for purposes of collation, specifically by allowing words to be sorted in alphabetical order. It also means that their letters can be used as an alternative method of "numbering" ordered items, in such(a) contexts as numbered lists and number placements.


The English word alphabet came into Middle English from the Late Latin word alphabetum, which in restyle originated in the Greek ἀλφάβητος alphabētos. The Greek word was submitted from the first two letters, alpha α and beta β. The designation for the Greek letters came from the first two letters of the Phoenician alphabet; aleph, which also meant ox, and bet, which also meant house.

Sometimes, like in the alphabet song in English, the term "ABCs" is used instead of the word "alphabet" Now I know my ABCs.... "Knowing one's ABCs", in general, can be used as a metaphor for knowing the basics approximately anything.