View synonyms for iconography


[ ahy-kuh-nog-ruh-fee ]


, plural i·co·nog·ra·phies.
  1. symbolic representation, especially the conventional meanings attached to an image or images.
  2. subject matter in the visual arts, especially with reference to the conventions regarding the treatment of a subject in artistic representation.
  3. the study or analysis of subject matter and its meaning in the visual arts; iconology.
  4. a representation or a group of representations of a person, place, or thing, as a portrait or a collection of portraits.


/ ˌaɪkɒˈnɒɡrəfɪ; aɪˌkɒnəˈɡræfɪk /


    1. the symbols used in a work of art or art movement
    2. the conventional significance attached to such symbols
  1. a collection of pictures of a particular subject, such as Christ
  2. the representation of the subjects of icons or portraits, esp on coins

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Derived Forms

  • iconographic, adjective
  • ˌicoˈnographer, noun

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Other Words From

  • i·con·o·graph [ahy-, kon, -, uh, -graf, -grahf], noun
  • ico·nogra·pher noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of iconography1

1620–30; < Medieval Latin īconographia < Greek eikonographía. See icono-, -graphy

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Example Sentences

Humans have used symbols and iconography to communicate and identify things going back to when cave people made the first drawings on the cave walls.

The green movement’s effort to take down past iconography and poke holes in the legacy of towering figures like Muir is important, but it’s only symbolic until power, money, and representation are diversified.

This probably puts some amount of pressure on other teams using native names and iconography — most notably the Chicago Blackhawks.

“As customers enter the store, they are greeted with clean, colorful iconography and a store directory that encourages them to download and use the Walmart app while they shop,” said Walmart’s chief customer officer Janey Whiteside.

From Fortune

That all-American iconography has always been so potent in the Superman myth.

Some of stars profiled in this book were so representative of a time that their very iconography subsumed them whole.

The West trades on its iconography, and many writers satisfy the hunger for that epic, legendary place.

Niwemfite lives by herself, surrounded by stark walls taped with photos of Christian iconography.

Not surprisingly, some of this motley symbolism harks back to Nazi iconography.

The history of engraving is a part of iconography, and various histories of the art exist in different languages.

The mystery plays gave to the iconography of the late XV century its realistic character.

The best artists go astray when they fail to obtain their ideas of Christian iconography from a qualified ecclesiastic.

For the whole of this period the royal iconography is much more scanty than for the two Theban empires.

For the scheme itself we must refer the reader to the second volume of Didron's Christian Iconography, p. 193.


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