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[graf, grahf] /græf, grɑf/
a diagram representing a system of connections or interrelations among two or more things by a number of distinctive dots, lines, bars, etc.
  1. a series of points, discrete or continuous, as in forming a curve or surface, each of which represents a value of a given function.
  2. Also called linear graph. a network of lines connecting points.
a written symbol for an idea, a sound, or a linguistic expression.
verb (used with object)
Mathematics. to draw (a curve) as representing a given function.
to represent by means of a graph.
Origin of graph
1875-80; short for graphic formula; see graphic
Related forms
regraph, verb (used with object)
1. See map.


variant of grapho- before a vowel:


a combining form meaning “drawn,” “written” (lithograph; monograph); specialized in meaning to indicate the instrument rather than the written product of the instrument (telegraph; phonograph).
< Greek -graphos (something) drawn or written, one who draws or writes. See grapho- Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for graph


/ɡrɑːf; ɡræf/
Also called chart. a drawing depicting the relation between certain sets of numbers or quantities by means of a series of dots, lines, etc, plotted with reference to a set of axes See also bar graph
(maths) a drawing depicting a functional relation between two or three variables by means of a curve or surface containing only those points whose coordinates satisfy the relation
(maths) a structure represented by a diagram consisting of points (vertices) joined by lines (edges)
(linguistics) a symbol in a writing system not further subdivisible into other such symbols
(transitive) to draw or represent in a graph
Word Origin
C19: short for graphic formula


combining form
an instrument that writes or records: telegraph
a writing, record, or drawing: autograph, lithograph
Derived Forms
-graphic, -graphical, combining_form:in_adjective
-graphically, combining_form:in_adverb
Word Origin
via Latin from Greek -graphos, from graphein to write
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for graph

1878, shortening of graphic formula (see graphic). The verb meaning "charted on a graph" is from 1889. Related: Graphed; graphing.


word-forming element meaning "instrument for recording; something written," from Greek graphe "writing," from graphein "to write, express by written characters," earlier "to draw, represent by lines drawn" (see -graphy).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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graph in Medicine

-graph suff.
An instrument for writing, drawing, or recording: cardiograph.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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graph in Science
  1. A diagram showing the relationship of quantities, especially such a diagram in which lines, bars, or proportional areas represent how one quantity depends on or changes with another.

  2. A curve or line showing a mathematical function or equation, typically drawn in a Cartesian coordinate system. The graph of the function y = x2 is a parabola.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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graph in Technology

1. A collection of nodes and edges.
See also connected graph, degree, directed graph, Moore bound, regular graph, tree.
2. A visual representation of algebraic equations or data.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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