Leetcode 953. Verifying an Alien Dictionary


In an alien language, surprisingly they also use english lowercase letters, but possibly in a different order. The order of the alphabet is some permutation of lowercase letters.

Given a sequence of words written in the alien language, and the order of the alphabet, return true if and only if the given words are sorted lexicographicaly in this alien language.

Example 1:

Input: words = ["hello","leetcode"], order = "hlabcdefgijkmnopqrstuvwxyz"
Output: true
Explanation: As 'h' comes before 'l' in this language, then the sequence is sorted.

Example 2:

Input: words = ["word","world","row"], order = "worldabcefghijkmnpqstuvxyz"
Output: false
Explanation: As 'd' comes after 'l' in this language, then words[0] > words[1], hence the sequence is unsorted.

Example 3:

Input: words = ["apple","app"], order = "abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz"
Output: false
Explanation: The first three characters "app" match, and the second string is shorter (in size.) According to lexicographical rules "apple" > "app", because 'l' > '∅', where '∅' is defined as the blank character which is less than any other character (More info).


  • 1 <= words.length <= 100
  • 1 <= words[i].length <= 20
  • order.length == 26
  • All characters in words[i] and order are English lowercase letters.


  1. create a map for alien alphbet orders
  2. scan throw the String, if we find any word bigger than the next word, return false. Else return true at the end
  3. Trick: be careful for the mapping, might get confuse

4. TC: O(n) — mapping is O(1); check the String[] length

CS new grad, 6 years experience related to supply chain management. Located in Bay area