tele·​gram | \ ˈte-lə-ˌgram How to pronounce telegram (audio) , Southern also -grəm \

Definition of telegram

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a telegraphic dispatch


tele·​gram | \ ˈte-lə-ˌgram How to pronounce telegram (audio) \
telegrammed; telegramming

Definition of telegram (Entry 2 of 2)

Examples of telegram in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun When the German army conquered the Netherlands in May 1940, Wilhelm sent Hitler a congratulatory telegram. Benjamin Nathans, The New York Review of Books, 23 Apr. 2020 Moore’s answer did not please some members of a right-wing Weber County telegram group. Bryan Schott, The Salt Lake Tribune, 2 Sep. 2021 There was no clue in the telegram, or in Johnson’s reply. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, 4 Aug. 2021 When the bad news reached Taiwan, the island's fishery authority reportedly sent a telegram to the harbor authority in Okinawa asking them to not let the crew sail again. Maggie Hiufu Wong, CNN, 23 Aug. 2021 Events came to a crisis with the publication of the Zimmerman telegram. Washington Post, 2 July 2021 For our 30th birthday, my dad also gave me and my twin sister Liz a watch our grandfather bought in the ’80s via a telegram auction. Madeline Fass, Vogue, 4 June 2021 Lukashenko gave an unconditional order to turn the plane around, the state news service Belta said, citing the unofficial Pool Pervogo telegram channel, which is widely seen as run by people close to the presidential press service. Aliaksandr Kudrytski, Fortune, 24 May 2021 The letter Martinez sent home to his mother, along with the official telegram notifying the family of his death, were donated to the USS Arizona Memorial Museum at Pearl Harbor. John Wilkens, San Diego Union-Tribune, 31 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'telegram.' 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 telegram


circa 1852, in the meaning defined above


1860, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for telegram

Time Traveler

The first known use of telegram was circa 1852

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Last Updated

20 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Telegram.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for telegram



English Language Learners Definition of telegram

: a message that is sent by telegraph


tele·​gram | \ ˈte-lə-ˌgram How to pronounce telegram (audio) \

Kids Definition of telegram

: a message sent by telegraph

More from Merriam-Webster on telegram

Nglish: Translation of telegram for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of telegram for Arabic Speakers


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