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 formspho·no·gram·ic, pho·no·gram·mic, adjectivepho·no·gram·i·cal·ly, pho·no·gram·mi·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for phonogram

Contemporary Examples of phonogram

Historical Examples of phonogram

  • 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 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

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 Formsphonogramic or 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

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

phonogram in Medicine




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