word-forming element meaning "process of writing or recording" or "a writing, recording, or description" (in modern use especially in forming names of descriptive sciences), from French or German -graphie, from Greek -graphia "description of," used in abstract nouns from graphein "write, express by written characters," earlier "to draw, represent by lines drawn," originally "to scrape, scratch" (on clay tablets with a stylus), from PIE root *gerbh- "to scratch, carve" (see carve).
"writing made by another person," by 1900, from allo- "other" + -graph "something written." Especially in law, "a deed not written by any of the parties to it." Linguistics sense "form of an alphabetic letter" is from 1951, with second element abstracted from grapheme. Related: Allographic.
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Definitions of grapheme from WordNet
a written symbol that is used to represent speech;