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[ahy-kuh-nog-ruh-fee] /ˌaɪ kəˈnɒg rə fi/
noun, plural iconographies.
symbolic representation, especially the conventional meanings attached to an image or images.
subject matter in the visual arts, especially with reference to the conventions regarding the treatment of a subject in artistic representation.
the study or analysis of subject matter and its meaning in the visual arts; iconology.
a representation or a group of representations of a person, place, or thing, as a portrait or a collection of portraits.
Origin of iconography
1620-30; < Medieval Latin īconographia < Greek eikonographía. See icono-, -graphy
Related forms
[ahy-kon-uh-graf, -grahf] /aɪˈkɒn əˌgræf, -ˌgrɑf/ (Show IPA),
iconographer, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for iconography
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • With these distinguished names the iconography of the Goncourts concludes.

    Rene Mauperin

    Edmond de Goncourt and Jules de Goncourt
  • This appears to explain in general terms the sources of iconography.

    The Grotesque in Church Art T. Tindall Wildridge
  • I shall not attempt to reconstruct the iconography of the Maid.

  • It occurs frequently in Greek, but only seldom in Latin or Western iconography.

    Illuminated Manuscripts John W. Bradley
  • A few more years and even these old cities will be transformed and seen no more except in the pages of this iconography.

    Beatrix Honore de Balzac
British Dictionary definitions for iconography


noun (pl) -phies
  1. the symbols used in a work of art or art movement
  2. the conventional significance attached to such symbols
a collection of pictures of a particular subject, such as Christ
the representation of the subjects of icons or portraits, esp on coins
Derived Forms
iconographer, noun
iconographic (aɪˌkɒnəˈɡræfɪk), iconographical, adjective
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 iconography

1620s, from Medieval Latin iconographia, from Greek eikonographia "sketch, description," from eikon (see icon) + -graphia (see -graphy). Related: Iconographic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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