[ graf-eem ]

  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.

Origin of grapheme

First recorded in 1935–40; graph- + -eme

Other words from grapheme

  • gra·phe·mi·cal·ly, adverb

Words Nearby grapheme Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use grapheme in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for grapheme


/ (ˈɡræfiːm) /

  1. 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

Origin of grapheme

C20: from Greek graphēma a letter

Derived forms of grapheme

  • graphemically, 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