[id-ee-uh-gram, ahy-dee-]


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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ideogram

Historical Examples of ideogram

  • 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).

British Dictionary definitions for ideogram


ideograph (ˈɪdɪəʊˌɡrɑːf, -ˌɡræf)


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

Word Origin and History for ideogram

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper