pic·​to·​graph | \ ˈpik-tə-ˌgraf How to pronounce pictograph (audio) \

Definition of pictograph

1 : an ancient or prehistoric drawing or painting on a rock wall
2 : one of the symbols belonging to a pictorial graphic system
3 : a diagram representing statistical data by pictorial forms

Other Words from pictograph

pictographic \ ˌpik-​tə-​ˈgra-​fik How to pronounce pictograph (audio) \ adjective

Examples of pictograph in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The emoji really isn’t a modern concept, simply a pictograph rendered in a digital form. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, 27 Apr. 2022 In the 1970s Kohlmeyer developed a style of multihued pictographs, usually organized on a grid. Roberta Smith, New York Times, 2 Apr. 2020 The new emoji include useful pictographs such as a ninja, disguised face, polar bear, bubble tea, pickup truck, toothbrush, military helmet, two people hugging, and pinched fingers (also known as the Italian hand gesture). cleveland, 30 Jan. 2020 The collection’s core design features a cave art-like pictograph of a long-necked water bird facing the spirit of a roaring panther with a fish over the source spring of the San Antonio River. René A. Guzman, ExpressNews.com, 6 Jan. 2020 Before me were crude drawings, pictographs painted on the walls of the shallow cave by ancient civilizations that occupied this place thousands of years ago. San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Oct. 2019 Roche-a-Cri has ancient pictographs from the ancestors of the local Ho-Chunk, who carved arrows, birds, figures, canoes and more into the rock, and used it to track astronomical events and local life. Jennifer Billock, Smithsonian, 18 July 2019 They were then shown an intentionally ambiguous image—in this case, a Chinese pictograph. Alexandra Sifferlin, Time, 11 June 2018 Petroglyphs are pecked, engraved or polished designs on rock; pictographs are painted or drawn designs on rock. 60. azcentral, 15 May 2015 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pictograph.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of pictograph

1851, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pictograph

Latin pictus + English -o- + -graph

Learn More About pictograph

Time Traveler for pictograph

Time Traveler

The first known use of pictograph was in 1851

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near pictograph




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for pictograph

Last Updated

8 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Pictograph.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pictograph. Accessed 27 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for pictograph


pic·​to·​graph | \ ˈpik-tə-ˌgraf How to pronounce pictograph (audio) \

Kids Definition of pictograph

1 : an ancient or prehistoric drawing or painting on a rock wall
2 : a diagram showing information by means of pictures

More from Merriam-Webster on pictograph

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pictograph


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Color

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!