ideo·​gram ˈi-dē-ə-ˌgram How to pronounce ideogram (audio)
: a picture or symbol used in a system of writing to represent a thing or an idea but not a particular word or phrase for it
especially : one that represents not the object pictured but some thing or idea that the object pictured is supposed to suggest
ideogramic adjective
or ideogrammic
ideogrammatic adjective

Examples of ideogram in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The artist’s small paintings are as dense and provocative as his large ones — tiny worlds full of ideograms, like tarot cards. Cate McQuaid,, 9 May 2023 However, using numbers is not allowed under those rules, and using pictures, like an emoji or ideogram, in a name is expressly forbidden. Caitlin O'Kane, CBS News, 26 May 2020 Much like the previous set introduced last year, Emoji 13.0 promotes inclusion and diversity, with ideograms of gender-neutral brides and grooms, Santa Claus, and bottle-feeding parents in various skin tones. cleveland, 30 Jan. 2020 Luxurious hotels, casinos, and nightclubs merge with gray buildings, European remains, and Taoist temples, in a city full of ideogram signs, and unmistakable smells and sounds. Popular Science, 21 Jan. 2020 Spanish filled the airwaves; the ideograms and characters of Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and other Asian languages covered the store signs, sparking an angry nativist movement. Héctor Tobar, The New Yorker, 22 July 2019 Derived from an ancient African writing system, the ideograms are an Ekpuk trademark. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, 13 June 2019 And while there are tiny web and smartphones ideograms for everything from soup to nuts, there are very few that are specifically Jewish. Marcy Oster,, 5 June 2019 Emojis might be connected in some respects to Egyptian hieroglyphs or Chinese ideograms. Crispin Sartwell, WSJ, 22 Sep. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ideogram.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1838, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of ideogram was in 1838

Dictionary Entries Near ideogram

Cite this Entry

“Ideogram.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


ideo·​gram ˈīd-ē-ə-ˌgram How to pronounce ideogram (audio)
: a picture or symbol used in a system of writing to represent a thing or an idea but not a particular word or phrase
: a character or symbol (as 3) used in a system of writing to represent an entire word but not its individual sounds

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