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[dahy-graf, -grahf] /ˈdaɪ græf, -grɑf/
a pair of letters representing a single speech sound, as ea in meat or th in path.
Origin of digraph
First recorded in 1780-90; di-1 + -graph
Related forms
[dahy-graf-ik] /daɪˈgræf ɪk/ (Show IPA),
digraphically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for digraph
Historical Examples
  • Two letters forming a diphthong or digraph are not to be separated.

    Division of Words Frederick W. Hamilton
  • The digraph "oa" and "ay" may be taught with equal ease the first year.

    How to Teach Phonics Lida M. Williams
  • digraph, dī′graf, n. two letters expressing but one sound, as ph in digraph.

  • This combination of two letters to represent one sound is called a digraph, as gh, in cough, ch in church.

    Plain English

    Marian Wharton
  • A digraph may either be a combination of two consonants or of two vowels or of a vowel and a consonant.

    Plain English

    Marian Wharton
  • A consonant or digraph between two sounded vowels usually joins the following vowel, rea-son, no-ti-fy, mo-ther.

    Division of Words Frederick W. Hamilton
  • When a consonant is doubled (not forming a digraph) the two are generally separated; beg-gar, bril-liant, cun-ning.

    Division of Words Frederick W. Hamilton
  • When the syllables are divided by the hyphen, there is no hyphen used between the vowels of the digraph.

  • The digraph th is represented in Old English texts by and , no consistent distinction being made between them.

British Dictionary definitions for digraph


/ˈdaɪɡrɑːf; -ɡræf/
a combination of two letters or characters used to represent a single speech sound such as gh in English tough Compare ligature (sense 5), diphthong
Derived Forms
digraphic (daɪˈɡræfɪk) adjective
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 digraph

1788, in linguistics, from Greek di- "twice" (see di- (1)) + -graph "something written," from Greek graphe "writing," from graphein "to write, express by written characters," earlier "to draw, represent by lines drawn" (see -graphy). In mathematics, from 1955, a contraction of directed graph.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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