• synonyms


[pik-tuh-graf, -grahf]
See more synonyms for pictograph on Thesaurus.com
  1. a pictorial sign or symbol.
  2. 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.
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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. 2018

Related Words for pictograph

fundamentals, morphemes, elements, syllabary, symbols, ideograph, rune, characters, phonemes, pictograph

Examples from the Web for pictograph

Historical Examples of pictograph

  • First, it is simply a representation of an object or a phenomenon, that is, a pictograph.

    Evolution in Art

    Alfred C. Haddon

  • Such a figure occurs in the pictograph under consideration, where it occupies the position of the head.

  • Then, he drew with painstaking care a series of diagrams that repeated the information in pictograph form.


    Robert Donald Locke

  • The pictograph cut into a rock or tree, or painted upon a buffalo-skin tent, was our only record of current or past events.

    Indian Scout Talks

    Charles A. Eastman

  • For example, the pictograph for mouth combined with pictograph for vapour expressed words.

British Dictionary definitions for pictograph


  1. a picture or symbol standing for a word or group of words, as in written Chinese
  2. a chart on which symbols are used to represent values, such as population levels or consumption
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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper