[dahy-graf, -grahf]


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 formsdi·graph·ic [dahy-graf-ik] /daɪˈgræf ɪk/, adjectivedi·graph·i·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for digraph

Historical Examples of digraph

  • 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.

  • 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

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

    Plain English

    Marian Wharton

British Dictionary definitions for digraph



a combination of two letters or characters used to represent a single speech sound such as gh in English toughCompare ligature (def. 5), diphthong
Derived Formsdigraphic (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

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