Letter Frequency of Use

Thanks to social media and the 2020 Covid lockdowns, word games such as Wordle, Quordle and Octordle have become popular. Knowing how freqently letters are used can increase your odds of success with these games.

The Numbers

We crunched the numbers using the manage_searchWord Helper database of five letter words, a bit more than the 2315 words that Wordle uses. These are the results.

Ranking of All Letters

Top 5 Mosted Used Letters


Top 4 Least Used Letters


Words using the Top 5 Letters

The following are words that use all of top 5 and those that use the top 4.

orate oater

adore arose opera

abort actor aorta ratio roast tarot

forte metro other otter outer overt retro route store tenor tower trope trove voter wrote

Knowing the Bottom 4 Letters Helps

Being aware of the bottom 4 letters can also help your game. These letters appear in words with the lowest probability of being the correct word. Using the manage_searchWord Helper dataset, the following are the percentages of the words that contain the letters that are least used:


Compared to the Top 5 Letters


Vowels Ranked by Frequency of Use

The most frequently used vowel is "E" and the least common is "U". Vowel usage in order of most to least frequently used:



Words with 3 or More Vowels

[ duplicate words left in ]

[no words]



abide adieu afire agile aider aisle alien alike alive anime arise aside email ideal image inane irate maize media naive raise sepia waive

abode above adobe adore alone anode arose atone awoke cameo canoe oaken oater ocean omega opera orate ovate

abuse acute adieu amuse argue auger azure cause equal gauge gauze haute mauve pause quake sauce saute suave usage vague value

boule coupe gouge house louse mouse ounce outer quote rogue rouge rouse route vogue

audio avoid axiom axion patio piano radio ratio viola voila

adieu audio audit quail quasi

about afoul aloud audio bayou quota

audio curio opium union

Words Beginning and Ending with...

It's interesting to note that the top 7 beginning letters account for greater than 50% of the dataset. These letters have a greater probability of starting the winning word. The letter S ranks #1 for beginning words, but it ranks 8th for its use across all words. Note: plurals are excluded from the dataset. In 2022, the NY Times decided to exclude plural forms of three- or four-letter words that end in "ES" or "S", eg. FOXES or SPOTS, but GEESE or FUNGI are acceptable.

Ranking of Letters that Begin a Word

Ranking of Letters that End a Word