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See more synonyms for telegram on Thesaurus.com
  1. a message or communication sent by telegraph; a telegraphic dispatch.
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verb (used with or without object), tel·e·grammed, tel·e·gram·ming.
  1. to telegraph.
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Origin of telegram

An Americanism dating back to 1850–55; tele-1 + -gram1
Related formstel·e·gram·mic, tel·e·gram·ma·tic [tel-i-gruh-mat-ik] /ˌtɛl ɪ grəˈmæt ɪk/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for telegrammatic


  1. a communication transmitted by telegraphSee also cable (def. 5), Telemessage
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Derived Formstelegrammatic (ˌtɛlɪɡrəˈmætɪk) or telegrammic, 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 telegrammatic



"telegraphic dispatch," 1852, coined by E.P. Smith of Rochester, N.Y., from tele-, as in telegraph + -gram, and introduced in the Albany "Evening Journal" of April 6, 1852. Purists pointed out that this is an erroneous formation, and the correct word would be telegrapheme (which is close to the Modern Greek word).

May I suggest to such as are not contented with 'Telegraphic Dispatch' the rightly constructed word 'telegrapheme'? I do not want it, but ... I protest against such a barbarism as 'telegram.' [Richard Shilleto, Cambridge Greek scholar, in the London "Times," Oct. 15, 1857]
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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper