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1. A letter of an alphabet.
2. All of the letters and letter combinations that represent a phoneme, as f, ph, and gh for the phoneme /f/.

[graph + -eme.]

gra·phe′mic (gră-fē′mĭk) adj.
gra·phe′mi·cal·ly adv.


(Linguistics) linguistics one of a set of orthographic symbols (letters or combinations of letters) in a given language that serve to distinguish one word from another and usually correspond to or represent phonemes, e.g. the f in fun, the ph in phantom, and the gh in laugh
[C20: from Greek graphēma a letter]
graˈphemic adj
graˈphemically adv


(ˈgræf im)

1. a minimal unit of a writing system.
2. a unit of a writing system consisting of all the written symbols or sequences of written symbols that are used to represent a single phoneme.
[1935–40; < Greek gráph(ein) to write + -eme]
gra•phe′mic, adj.
gra•phe′mi•cal•ly, adv.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.grapheme - a written symbol that is used to represent speechgrapheme - a written symbol that is used to represent speech; "the Greek alphabet has 24 characters"
printed symbol, written symbol - a written or printed symbol
allograph - a variant form of a grapheme, as `m' or `M' or a handwritten version of that grapheme
check character - a character that is added to the end of a block of transmitted data and used to check the accuracy of the transmission
superscript, superior - a character or symbol set or printed or written above and immediately to one side of another character
subscript, inferior - a character or symbol set or printed or written beneath or slightly below and to the side of another character
ASCII character - any member of the standard code for representing characters by binary numbers
ligature - character consisting of two or more letters combined into one
capital letter, majuscule, uppercase, upper-case letter, capital - one of the large alphabetic characters used as the first letter in writing or printing proper names and sometimes for emphasis; "printers once kept the type for capitals and for small letters in separate cases; capitals were kept in the upper half of the type case and so became known as upper-case letters"
lowercase, lower-case letter, minuscule, small letter - the characters that were once kept in bottom half of a compositor's type case
type - printed characters; "small type is hard to read"
percent sign, percentage sign - a sign (`%') used to indicate that the number preceding it should be understood as a proportion multiplied by 100
asterisk, star - a star-shaped character * used in printing
dagger, obelisk - a character used in printing to indicate a cross reference or footnote
diesis, double dagger, double obelisk - a character used in printing to indicate a cross reference or footnote
alphabetic character, letter of the alphabet, letter - the conventional characters of the alphabet used to represent speech; "his grandmother taught him his letters"
blank, space - a blank character used to separate successive words in writing or printing; "he said the space is the most important character in the alphabet"
phonetic symbol - a written character used in phonetic transcription of represent a particular speech sound
mathematical symbol - a character that is used to indicates a mathematical relation or operation
rune, runic letter - any character from an ancient Germanic alphabet used in Scandinavia from the 3rd century to the Middle Ages; "each rune had its own magical significance"
pictograph - a graphic character used in picture writing
ideogram, ideograph - a graphic character that indicates the meaning of a thing without indicating the sounds used to say it; "Chinese characters are ideograms"
radical - a character conveying the lexical meaning of a logogram
stenograph - a shorthand character


[ˈgræfiːm] Ngrafema m


nGraphem nt
References in periodicals archive ?
The first step in development of the Persian WCT for our target population was to include pseudowords phonologically and graphemically dissimilar to (not reminder of) a real word in both Baluchi and Persian languages, as well as inflectable in the Persian syntax.
This trend has obviously changed with the passage of time, and some of them have been adapted graphemically and phonemically into Spanish: chase < chassis, ferri < ferry, cloche < clutch (Haensch & Werner, 2000).
The participants were presented with words in Arabic written either correctly, or graphemically distorted, with letters in the right places, but in the wrong form for their placement.