[ pik-tuh-graf, -grahf ]
/ ˈpɪk təˌgræf, -ˌgrɑf /


a pictorial sign or symbol.
a record consisting of pictorial symbols, as a prehistoric cave drawing or a graph or chart with symbolic figures representing a certain number of people, cars, factories, etc.

Nearby words

  1. picrocarmine stain,
  2. picrotoxin,
  3. pict,
  4. pictish,
  5. pictogram,
  6. pictographic,
  7. pictography,
  8. pictor,
  9. pictores,
  10. pictorial

Origin of pictograph

1850–55; < Latin pict(us) painted (see picture) + -o- + -graph

Related formspic·to·graph·ic [pik-tuh-graf-ik] /ˌpɪk təˈgræf ɪk/, adjectivepic·to·graph·i·cal·ly, adverb

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pictograph

British Dictionary definitions for pictograph


/ (ˈpɪktəˌɡrɑːf, -ˌɡræf) /


a picture or symbol standing for a word or group of words, as in written Chinese
a chart on which symbols are used to represent values, such as population levels or consumption
Derived Formspictographic (ˌpɪktəˈɡræfɪk), adjectivepictography (pɪkˈtɒɡrəfɪ), noun

Word Origin for pictograph

C19: from Latin pictus, from pingere to paint

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 pictograph



"picture or symbol representing an idea," 1851, from Latin pictus "painted," past participle of pingere "to paint" (see paint (v.)) + -graph "something written." First used in reference to American Indian writing. Related: Pictography.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper