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[foh-nuh-gram] /ˈfoʊ nəˌgræm/
a unit symbol of a phonetic writing system, standing for a speech sound, syllable, or other sequence of speech sounds without reference to meaning.
Origin of phonogram
First recorded in 1855-60; phono- + -gram1
Related forms
phonogramic, phonogrammic, adjective
phonogramically, phonogrammically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for phonogram
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It then came to stand as a phonogram to express the word nefer, good.

    Evolution in Art Alfred C. Haddon
  • In 1888 Edison sent his first phonogram by steamer to England.

    The Boyhood of Great Inventors A. Fraser Robertson
  • The next step forward is the development of the ideogram into the phonogram, or sound sign.

    Books Before Typography Frederick W. Hamilton
  • This picture writing or hieroglyphic was well developed and in the phonogram stage about 5000 B.C.

    Books Before Typography Frederick W. Hamilton
  • The teacher writes a phonogram on the board and below it all the consonant sounds from which words may be built.

    How to Teach Phonics Lida M. Williams
  • When he has finished the sheet, or phonogram, as I call it, it is ready for putting into a little box made on purpose for mails.

British Dictionary definitions for phonogram


any written symbol standing for a sound, syllable, morpheme, or word
a sequence of written symbols having the same sound in a variety of different words, for example, ough in bought, ought, and brought
Derived Forms
phonogramic, phonogrammic, 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 phonogram

1845, "a written symbol," from phono- + -gram. From 1879 as "a sound recording."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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phonogram in Medicine

phonogram pho·no·gram (fō'nə-grām')

  1. A graphic tracing depicting the duration and intensity of a sound.

  2. A character or symbol, as in a phonetic alphabet, representing a word or phoneme in speech.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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