Definition of spelling in English:



  • 1[mass noun] The process or activity of writing or naming the letters of a word.

    ‘the books and spelling in my class were too simple’
    • ‘But when the activity involved spelling, it was up to me.’
    • ‘In this case, the youngsters share an interest in growing abnormally large vocabularies, though the mechanics of spelling often outpace comprehension.’
    • ‘For example, the language arts course consists of four subject areas: capitalization, punctuation, word usage and spelling.’
    • ‘‘In most cases, it's the kid who drags the parents into the world of competitive spelling,’ Blitz explains.’
    • ‘Are you interested in helping adults with reading, writing, spelling or numeracy?’
    • ‘We are not anarchists when it comes to spelling or punctuation of written Standard English.’
    1. 1.1[count noun]The way a word is spelled.
      ‘the spelling of his name was influenced by French’
      • ‘Low literacy in Haiti contributes to inconsistent spelling of patients' names and addresses.’
      • ‘More troubling is the decision to regularize Elizabeth's writings through modernized spelling and format.’
      • ‘Mayo County Council will encourage the use of the Irish language and the use of native Irish spelling of place names in the naming of housing developments.’
      • ‘I really take this as an insult, especially since I sent her an invitation to the wedding almost two years ago with the correct spelling of my name.’
      • ‘I had to fudge my way into contests by stuffing my hair under my hat and changing the unorthodox spelling of my name.’
      • ‘Among other things, they have resurrected the old debate on the correct spelling of the village and parish name.’
      • ‘You don't know what you've started when you invent a name whose spelling doesn't indicate a pronunciation in any known human language.’
      • ‘There is no way he would have just signed and left the incorrect typed spelling of his name.’
      • ‘While masquerading as an instructor, Hay is able to delve into the classroom humour for which he was noted, playing on the different pronunciation of place names with the same spelling.’
      • ‘Have you ever written a lengthy essay and realized that you've been using the wrong spelling of a name throughout the whole piece?’
      • ‘He started by changing the names, or their spelling, of his friends and family members.’
      • ‘We wrote out the correct spelling of his name, along with a phonetic pronunciation.’
      • ‘A few years ago Lee and I were in the park library puzzling over the correct spelling of the name of a member of one of the early Yellowstone survey parties.’
      • ‘Every one of his signatures spells his name differently (English spelling was not yet standardized).’
      • ‘Since that time many of these names have changed their spelling whereas others have become ghost towns or disappeared from the maps altogether.’
      • ‘I hadn't heard that name - any spelling of it - in a while.’
      • ‘As a result, hundreds of words have the same spellings in both languages, which also share a battery of Latin affixes.’
      • ‘Please accept our sincere apologies with respect to the proper spelling of your name.’
      • ‘One handy trick is to ask, ‘Which spelling of your name do you use, anyway?’’
      • ‘Surely the spelling of a name of a principal player in a book should be correct.’
    2. 1.2A person's ability to spell words.
      ‘her spelling was deplorable’
      • ‘This is a logical finding, given that spelling is a verbal ability.’
      • ‘Rapidly deteriorating, Charlie's punctuation and spelling worsen and he prays that he may retain the ability to read and write.’
      • ‘You will be judged by the quality of your writing so spelling and grammar are important.’
      • ‘You can probably tell by my writing, and my spelling and grammar, that I've had some learning since I've been out here.’
      • ‘The students are required to complete these assignments with a word processor, and they are graded for grammar and spelling.’
      • ‘I have very poor spelling and misspell words when I am typing.’
      • ‘Most research on young children's spelling has investigated the role of phonological processes.’
      • ‘With reading they may be hesitant and often misread words and with writing they may have erratic spelling and tendency to reverse letters.’