The script is used as an abugida (alphasyllabary) for languages such as Amharic and Tigrinya. It originally was an abjad, writing consonants only. In Amharic and Tigrinya, the script is often called fidäl (ፊደል), meaning "script" or "alphabet".
Ge'ez script was first used to write the Ge'ez language. Ge'ez is now the liturgical language of the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, and Beta Israel, the Jewish community in Ethiopia.