Definition of syllabary in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsiləˌberē/

noun (plural syllabaries)

A set of written characters representing syllables and (in some languages or stages of writing) serving the purpose of an alphabet.
Example sentences
  • The Japanese phonetic syllabaries (characters representing syllables) or the Roman alphabet is used to transcribe Ainu speech.
  • A clear-cut distinction cannot always be made between alphabets proper and syllabaries, sets of syllabic symbols as in the Japanese kana systems.
  • Linear-B was a syllabary - each character represented a complete syllable.


Mid 19th century: from modern Latin syllabarium, from Latin syllaba (see syllable).

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