Skip to main content
Select Source:

ALPHABETICAL ORDER

ALPHABETICAL ORDER, also alphabetic order, ABC order, alphabetic(al) arrangement. The order used for presenting, teaching, memorizing, or otherwise using the letters of an ALPHABET. It is particularly favoured as an invariant series by which information can be organized in catalogues, concordances, dictionaries, directories, encyclopedias, indexes, and the like. Thoroughgoing alphabetization did not establish itself fully until printing had become widespread and printers had become used to manipulating letters first physically (as bits of metal in alphabetized trays), then conceptually.

Conventionally, alphabetical ordering must be consistent through words, word groups, names, name groups, etc., so that, for example, access precedes accessibility which precedes accessible which precedes accessibly. Word groups may be ordered strictly by letter throughout the group, ignoring spaces (as are the headwords in this book); alternatively, they may be ordered word by word, a shorter word then preceding all longer words that begin with the same sequence of letters. Compare the following:

Letter-by-letter order

Word-by-word order

American

American

American English

American English

Americanese

American language

Americanism

Americanese

American language

Americanism

Difficulties may arise in English over certain placings, such as Mac and Mc names and the names of saints. Further complications include ordering according to personal names that follow surnames in a directory, as with Macleod, John; McLeod, Margaret; MacLeod, Morag; McLeod, Murdo, etc.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"ALPHABETICAL ORDER." Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"ALPHABETICAL ORDER." Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/alphabetical-order

"ALPHABETICAL ORDER." Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/alphabetical-order

alphabetical

al·pha·bet·i·cal / ˌalfəˈbetikəl/ • adj. of or relating to an alphabet: alphabetical characters. ∎  in the order of the letters of the alphabet: an alphabetical index. DERIVATIVES: al·pha·bet·ic adj. al·pha·bet·i·cal·ly / -ik(ə)lē/ adv.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"alphabetical." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"alphabetical." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/alphabetical-0

"alphabetical." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/alphabetical-0

alphabetize

al·pha·bet·ize / ˈalfəbiˌtīz/ • v. [tr.] arrange (words or phrases) in alphabetical order: the listings are arranged by state and alphabetized by city. DERIVATIVES: al·pha·bet·i·za·tion / ˌalfəˌbetəˈzāshən/ n.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"alphabetize." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"alphabetize." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/alphabetize-0

"alphabetize." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/alphabetize-0

alphabetical

alphabeticalcackle, crackle, grackle, hackle, jackal, mackle, shackle, tackle •ankle, rankle •Gaskell, mascle, paschal •tabernacle • ramshackle •débâcle, diarchal, matriarchal, monarchal, patriarchal, sparkle •rascal •deckle, freckle, heckle, Jekyll, shekel, speckle •faecal (US fecal), treacle •chicle, fickle, mickle, nickel, pickle, prickle, sickle, strickle, tickle, trickle •besprinkle, crinkle, sprinkle, tinkle, twinkle, winkle, wrinkle •fiscal •laical, Pharisaical •vehicle • stoical • cubicle • radical •medical, paramedical •Druidical, juridical, veridical •syndical •methodical, periodical, rhapsodical, synodical •Talmudical • graphical • pontifical •magical, tragical •strategical •alogical, illogical, logical •dramaturgical, liturgical, metallurgical, surgical •anarchical, hierarchical, monarchical, oligarchical •psychical •angelical, evangelical, helical •umbilical • biblical • encyclical •diabolical, follicle, hyperbolical, symbolical •dynamical, hydrodynamical •academical, agrochemical, alchemical, biochemical, chemical, petrochemical, photochemical, polemical •inimical • rhythmical • seismical •agronomical, anatomical, astronomical, comical, economical, gastronomical, physiognomical •botanical, Brahmanical, mechanical, puritanical, sanicle, tyrannical •ecumenical •geotechnical, pyrotechnical, technical •clinical, cynical, dominical, finical, Jacobinical, pinnacle, rabbinical •canonical, chronicle, conical, ironical •tunicle • pumpernickel • vernicle •apical • epical •atypical, prototypical, stereotypical, typical •misanthropical, semi-tropical, subtropical, topical, tropical •theatrical •chimerical, clerical, hemispherical, hysterical, numerical, spherical •calendrical •asymmetrical, diametrical, geometrical, metrical, symmetrical, trimetrical •electrical • ventricle •empirical, lyrical, miracle, panegyrical, satirical •cylindrical •ahistorical, allegorical, categorical, historical, metaphorical, oratorical, phantasmagorical, rhetorical •auricle • rubrical • curricle •classical, fascicle, neoclassical •farcical • vesicle •indexical, lexical •commonsensical, nonsensical •bicycle, icicle, tricycle •paradoxical • Popsicle • versicle •anagrammatical, apostatical, emblematical, enigmatical, fanatical, grammatical, mathematical, piratical, prelatical, problematical, sabbatical •impractical, practical, syntactical, tactical •canticle •ecclesiastical, fantastical •article, particle •alphabetical, arithmetical, heretical, hypothetical, metathetical, metical, parenthetical, poetical, prophetical, reticle, synthetical, theoretical •dialectical •conventicle, identical •sceptical (US skeptical) • testicle •analytical, apolitical, critical, cryptanalytical, diacritical, eremitical, geopolitical, hypercritical, hypocritical, political, socio-political, subcritical •deistical, egoistical, logistical, mystical, papistical •optical, synoptical •aeronautical, nautical, vortical •cuticle, pharmaceutical, therapeutical •vertical • ethical • mythical • clavicle •periwinkle • lackadaisical •metaphysical, physical, quizzical •whimsical • musical •Carmichael, cervical, cycle, Michael •unicycle • monocycle • motorcycle •cockle, grockle •corncockle • snorkel •bifocal, focal, local, univocal, varifocal, vocal, yokel •archducal, coucal, ducal, pentateuchal •buckle, chuckle, knuckle, muckle, ruckle, suckle, truckle •peduncle, uncle •parbuckle • carbuncle • turnbuckle •pinochle • furuncle • honeysuckle •demoniacal, maniacal, megalomaniacal, paradisiacal, zodiacal •manacle • barnacle • cenacle •binnacle • monocle • epochal •reciprocal •coracle, oracle •spectacle •pentacle, tentacle •receptacle • obstacle • equivocal •circle, encircle •semicircle

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"alphabetical." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"alphabetical." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/alphabetical

"alphabetical." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/alphabetical

alphabetize

alphabetize •excise • queen-size • laicize •Anglicise, Anglicize •polemicize • classicize • fanaticize •elasticize • poeticize • parenthesize •mythicize •photosynthesize, synthesize •synopsize • apotheosize • emphasize •circumcise • exercise • metastasize •hypostasize •affranchise, enfranchise, franchise •fetishize • alphabetize • concretize •poetize • palletize • pelletize •unitize • remonetize • syncretize •securitize • synthetize • robotize •narcotize •anagrammatize, epigrammatize, melodramatize, overdramatize •emblematize, lemmatize •legitimatize • dogmatize • aromatize •problematize • automatize •bureaucratize • advertise •telepathize • televise •collectivize, objectivize •relativize • supervise • improvise

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"alphabetize." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"alphabetize." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/alphabetize

"alphabetize." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/alphabetize