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[hee-lee-uh-graf, -grahf] /ˈhi li əˌgræf, -ˌgrɑf/
a device for signaling by means of a movable mirror that reflects beams of light, especially sunlight, to a distance.
Astronomy. photoheliograph.
Meteorology. an instrument for recording the duration and intensity of sunshine.
Photography, Printing. an early type of photoengraving made on a metal plate coated with sensitized asphalt.
verb (used with or without object)
to communicate by heliograph.
Origin of heliograph
First recorded in 1815-25; helio- + -graph
Related forms
[hee-lee-og-ruh-fer] /ˌhi liˈɒg rə fər/ (Show IPA),
[hee-lee-uh-graf-ik] /ˌhi li əˈgræf ɪk/ (Show IPA),
heliographical, adjective
heliographically, adverb
heliography, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for heliograph
Historical Examples
  • Instantly, the ship shone like the polished mirror of a heliograph.

    Islands of Space John W Campbell
  • He had also been corroborated by a man who had seen the man who took it down from the heliograph.

    A Yeoman's Letters

    P. T. Ross
  • The heliograph would be useless in stormy weather or in fog.

    El Diablo Brayton Norton
  • The Hussars left behind a Colt-Maxim and a heliograph for our usage.

  • If there is no sun I cannot heliograph and I have a host of signals to look up and get ready.

    The Pillar of Light Louis Tracy
  • To this shot the heliograph flashed a cordial expression of approval.

    The Siege of Mafeking (1900) J. Angus Hamilton.
  • That meal done, he sat beside his heliograph to await the time.

    The Boy With the U. S. Survey Francis Rolt-Wheeler
  • And the glass of water she lifted pierced like a heliograph into the room.

    The Tower of Oblivion Oliver Onions
  • Far across the plains I saw a flashing light, as of a heliograph.

    Neighbours Robert Stead
  • Well, I guess that's because the heliograph is so much more secret.

    Facing the German Foe

    Colonel James Fiske
British Dictionary definitions for heliograph


/ˈhiːlɪəʊˌɡrɑːf; -ˌɡræf/
an instrument with mirrors and a shutter used for sending messages in Morse code by reflecting the sun's rays
a device used to photograph the sun
Derived Forms
heliographer (ˌhiːlɪˈɒɡrəfə) noun
heliographic (ˌhiːlɪəʊˈɡræfɪk), heliographical, adjective
heliography, noun
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 heliograph

product of a certain type of engraving process, 1853, from helio- + -graph "something written." Earlier, "a description of the sun" (1706, implied in heliographic). Heliography (1845 in the engraving sense) also (1840) was an early term for what came to be called photography.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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