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January 26, 2022

Abecedarian /ābēsēˈderēən / noun, adj. 

Definition: In the noun form, an abecedarian refers to a person who is learning the alphabet or someone who is learning the basics of any field. In the adjective form, abecedarian describes something that is rudimentary or directly related to the alphabet.

Etymology: Abecedarian comes from a Middle English word, abscedary, which originated in Medieval Latin as abecedārium, meaning alphabet or primer. 

The Latin word abecedārius meant alphabetical and was simply created from the first four letters of the alphabet. The earliest documentation of abecedarian was used to describe one who was learning their ABCs. The adjective form was not put into use until much later.

Fun Fact: Robert Pinsky, a former US poet laureate, wrote an abecedarian poem entitled ABC. The first line of the poem was, “Any body can die, evidently.”

In a Sentence

Medical technicians are considered abecedarians the first semester they begin their training.

Our English class assignment was to write an abecedarian poem, starting each line as an acrostic of the alphabet.

Each kindergarten student is an abecedarian while they learn their ABCs.


Apprentice, Beginner, Fundamental, Basal


Veteran, Old-Timer, Advanced


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