Words with Letters in Alphabetical Order

atkins-bookshelf-wordsAlthough the Oxford English Dictionary defines more than 750,000 English words, there are only about 860 words that have their letters arranged in alphabetical order. These are known as abecedarian words (from the Latin word, acededarius, meaning “alphabetical”).

Excluding the word “a”, the shortest words with letters in alphabetical order, containing only 2 letters, are: am, an, be, is, it, no.

The word ace contains 3 letters in alphabetical order.

There are many words with their letters in alphabetical order that contain 6 letters: abhors, accent, access, almost, biopsy, billow, chintz, effort.

The longest word with letters in alphabetical order is  Aegilops (8 letters). Technically, this is a Latin term for North American and Eurasian plants in the grass family, Poaceae (generally known as goatgrasses), that are the wild ancestor of modern domestic wheat. In medicine, an aegilops is an abscess or ulcer in the outer or inner corner of the eye. However, the longest English words with letters in alphabetical order, containing 7 letters are: beefily, billowy. 

Number with letters in alphabetical order: forty

Number with letters in reverse alphabetical order: one

Longest word with letters in reverse alphabetical order: punctoschmidtella (17) and spoon-feed (9 letters)

Shortest word with all vowels in alphabetical order: aerious (7 letters)

Longest word with all vowels in alphabetical order: phragelliorhynchus (18 letters), adventitious (12), abstemious (10), facetious (9)

SHARE THE LOVE: If you enjoyed this post, please LIKE and FOLLOW (via email or WordPress Reader) or share with a friend. 


Support Bookshelf via Amazon Associate Program



Read related posts: What is the Longest Word in English Language?
Word Oddities: Fun with Vowels

What is an Abecedarian Insult?
Difficult Tongue Twisters
Rare Anatomy Words
What Rhymes with Orange?

For further reading: Wordplay: A Curious Dictionary of Language Oddities by Chris Cole, Sterling (1999). rinkworks.com/words/oddities.shtml

7 thoughts on “Words with Letters in Alphabetical Order

  1. The word “pancreaticoduodenostomy” doesn’t have its vowels in alphabetical order, as the letter “a” appears after an “e,” an “o” appears after a “u,” and an “e” appears after an “o” and a “u.” I think the code that you ran to find these words didn’t check that none of the vowels already checked for didn’t appear again in the word after a different vowel. Also, the word “am” (the first person singular conjugation of “to be”) should be included in the list of 2-letter alphabetical words.

  2. “The shortest word with letters in alphabetical order is ace (only 3 letters).”

    No. No is shorter. With two (consecutive) letters.

    An is an alternative with two letters. So it is. (So it be)
    All? All is another abecedarian with three letters. Another hit.

    A is the first and shortest.

  3. Pingback: What is a Phantonym? | Bookshelf

Join the conversation

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.