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[id-ee-uh-gram, ahy-dee-] /ˈɪd i əˌgræm, ˈaɪ di-/
a written symbol that represents an idea or object directly rather than a particular word or speech sound, as a Chinese character.
a written symbol, as 7, =, or &; a logogram.
Origin of ideogram
First recorded in 1830-40; ideo- + -gram1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for ideogram
Historical Examples
  • An-na, ideogram for the god of heaven, plus phonetic complement.

    Sumerian Hymns Frederick Augustus Vanderburgh
  • The ideogram does not represent a word; it represents an idea.

    Books Before Typography Frederick W. Hamilton
  • The idea conveyed by what we call the conjunction "and" is expressed in Chinese by an ideogram, viz.

    China and the Chinese Herbert Allen Giles
  • The common Sumerian ideogram for the name of the Tigris is al-al, an intensified form of al, which means “running” or “rushing”.

    Sumerian Hymns Frederick Augustus Vanderburgh
  • "The ideogram for one, consisting of a single horizontal stroke, separates (and simultaneously unites) heaven and earth" (p. 5).

  • As the god Bin was also called Rimmon, the ideogram of the name may be read one way or the other.

  • The next step forward is the development of the ideogram into the phonogram, or sound sign.

    Books Before Typography Frederick W. Hamilton
  • Further evidence to the same effect is given by the ancient writing, in which the ideogram for king was a star.

  • H” gives us a picture of a reed, the late cuneiform character being the ideogram for “kanu” which means a “reed.

    Mesopotamian Archaeology Percy S. P. Handcock
  • Applied to a settlement, the ideogram would be the equivalent of our 'Fishtown.'

British Dictionary definitions for ideogram


a sign or symbol, used in such writing systems as those of China or Japan, that directly represents a concept, idea, or thing rather than a word or set of words for it
any graphic sign or symbol, such as %, @, &, etc
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 ideogram

1838, from comb. form of Greek idea (see idea) + -gram.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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