alphabetic, alphabet: An alphabetic orthography is a writing system that represents the phonemes of words, not their meanings (as in an ideographic writing system). The alphabet of a language is the list of orthographic symbols (or graphemes) that are used to write it, usually called its letters. An alphabetic system ideally has a separate letter for each phoneme. In languages with a restricted number of possible syllable types, it is possible to have a syllabary instead; a syllabary has one symbol for each syllable rather than one for each phoneme (like an alphabet does). [Spanish: alfabético, alfabeto]