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or alphabetic

[al-fuh-bet-i-kuh l or al-fuh-bet-ik] /ˌæl fəˈbɛt ɪ kəl or ˌæl fəˈbɛt ɪk/
in the order of the letters of the alphabet:
alphabetical arrangement.
pertaining to, expressed by, or using an alphabet:
alphabetical writing.
Origin of alphabetical
First recorded in 1560-70; alphabet + -ical
Related forms
alphabetically, adverb
nonalphabetic, adjective
nonalphabetical, adjective
nonalphabetically, adverb
prealphabetical, adjective
prealphabetically, adverb
unalphabetic, adjective
unalphabetical, adjective
unalphabetically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for alphabetical
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I will not follow the alphabetical order, but the order of events themselves.

    Doctor Pascal Emile Zola
  • An alphabetical list of all persons called to the bar by the said society.

  • The division was alphabetical, and the young Barclays and Duburgs were all in the first company.

  • I should have thought myself that the difference was alphabetical enough.

    A Miscellany of Men G. K. Chesterton
  • So in his latter days he is old alphabetical Morrison, a man apart from us.

    In Our Town William Allen White
  • The only thing that alphabetical ever organised that paid was a family.

    In Our Town William Allen White
  • For convenience of reference, the names are arranged in alphabetical order.

    The White Rose of Langley Emily Sarah Holt
  • These things are not words, they are alphabetical processions.

    A Tramp Abroad, Complete Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • The shorter rhymes (Nos. 1-115) are arranged in alphabetical order.

    Children's Literature Charles Madison Curry
British Dictionary definitions for alphabetical


in the conventional order of the letters or symbols of an alphabet
of, characterized by, or expressed by an alphabet
Derived Forms
alphabetically, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for alphabetical

1560s, from alphabet + -ical. Related: Alphabetically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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