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

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Other Words from pictograph

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

Examples of pictograph in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the 1970s Kohlmeyer developed a style of multihued pictographs, usually organized on a grid. Roberta Smith, New York Times, "3 Art Gallery Shows to Explore From Home," 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, "New emoji for 2020 include ninjas, the Italian hand gesture and gender-inclusive symbols," 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, "Exclusive: Patty Mills and the San Antonio Spurs team up with Tap Pilam for American Indian-inspired streetwear," 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, "Column: Ancient desert cave as grand as any cathedral," 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, "Eight Spots in the United States Where You Can See Petroglyphs," 18 July 2019 They were then shown an intentionally ambiguous image—in this case, a Chinese pictograph. Alexandra Sifferlin, Time, "Here’s Why You Get Hangry, According to Science," 11 June 2018 Petroglyphs are pecked, engraved or polished designs on rock; pictographs are painted or drawn designs on rock. 60. azcentral, "From climate to fry bread, 125 reasons to love Arizona," 15 May 2015 The mural's diamonds, pinwheels, cubes and pictographs suggest a freestyle Native American rug, its trails of dripping ink like loose, dangling threads. Leah Ollman, latimes.com, "For Nathan Hayden at CB1 Gallery, the smaller the canvas, the bigger the effect," 13 Mar. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of pictograph

1851, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pictograph

Latin pictus + English -o- + -graph

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Time Traveler for pictograph

Time Traveler

The first known use of pictograph was in 1851

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Statistics for pictograph

Last Updated

1 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pictograph.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pictograph. Accessed 2 Jun. 2020.

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pictograph

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