1. a combining form occurring in loanwords from Greek, where it meant “something written,” “drawing” (epigram; diagram); on this model, used in the formation of compound words (oscillogram).
Compare -graph.

Origin of -gram

< Greek -gramma, combining form of grámma something written or drawn; akin to carve


  1. a combining form of gram1: kilogram.


  1. a combining form extracted from telegram, used in the formation of compound words that have the general sense “message, bulletin”: culturegram; electiongram; prophecy-gram.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for -gram


n combining form
  1. indicating a drawing or something written or recordedhexagram; telegram

Word Origin for -gram

from Latin -gramma, from Greek, from gramma letter and grammē line
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

Word Origin and History for -gram

suffix from telegram (1852), first abstracted 1979 (in Gorillagram, a proprietary name in U.S.), and put to wide use in forming new words, such as stripagram (1981). The construction violates Greek grammar, as an adverb could not properly form part of a compound noun.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

-gram in Medicine


  1. Something written or drawn; a record:cardiogram.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.