Definition of allograph in US English:



  • 1Each of two or more alternative forms of a letter of an alphabet or other grapheme. The capital, lowercase, italic, and various handwritten forms of the letter A are allographs.

    • ‘Yet there is another level of meaning that changes with each allograph, an esthetic meaning that we cannot avoid.’
    • ‘Sign names and values with modifiers and/or allographs following them should not be be treated as compounds.’
    • ‘In Old English, the characters we call eth and thorn are not graphemically distinct: they are allographs which vary freely.’
    • ‘This paper presents an original method for creating allograph models and recognizing them within cursive handwriting.’
    • ‘Often only some of the codes of an allograph to be recognized correspond to a sequence of codes from the dictionary, and the allograph is not recognized with certainty.’
    1. 1.1Phonetics Each of two or more letters or letter combinations representing a single phoneme in different words. Allographs of the phoneme /f/ include the (f) of “fake” and the (ph) of “phase.”.
      • ‘In addition, because a letter may appear in allographs which encode respectively different phonemes, the user is taught alternative sounds that the selected letter may represent.’


1950s: from allo- ‘other, different’ + grapheme.