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1. A picture representing a word, phrase, or idea, especially one used in early writing systems.
2. A pictorial representation of numerical data or relationships, especially a graph, but having each value represented by a proportional number of pictures. In both senses also called pictogram.

[Latin pictus, past participle of pingere, to paint; see peig- in Indo-European roots + -graph.]

pic′to·graph′ic adj.
pic′to·graph′i·cal·ly adv.
pic·tog′ra·phy (pĭk-tŏg′rə-fē) n.


(ˈpɪktəˌɡrɑːf; -ˌɡræf)
1. (Linguistics) a picture or symbol standing for a word or group of words, as in written Chinese
2. a chart on which symbols are used to represent values, such as population levels or consumption
[C19: from Latin pictus, from pingere to paint]
pictographic adj
pictography n


(ˈpɪk təˌgræf, -ˌgrɑf)

1. a single pictorial sign or symbol, as in a system of picture writing.
2. a record consisting of pictorial symbols, as a graph or chart with figures representing a certain number of people, objects, etc.
3. a painting or drawing on a rock wall or the like by ancient or prehistoric peoples.
[1850–55; < Latin pict(us) painted (see picture) + -o- + -graph]
pic`to•graph′ic (-ˈgræf ɪk) adj.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.pictograph - a graphic character used in picture writingpictograph - a graphic character used in picture writing
grapheme, graphic symbol, character - a written symbol that is used to represent speech; "the Greek alphabet has 24 characters"


[ˈpɪktəgrɑːf] N
1. (= record, chart) → pictografía f
2. (Ling) (= symbol) → pictograma m; (= writing) → pictografía f
References in classic literature ?
But these traces, and such hieroglyphics, or, to be more exact pictographs, as I have been able to decipher from the old documents, tell of one country, or perhaps it was only a city, over which this great golden idol of Quitzel presided.
The classification then produces the labelling with pictographs and signal words as well as the H (Hazards) and P (Precautions) phrases.
These ancient people left intriguing clues: pueblos, tools, pottery, jewelry, baskets, petroglyphs, pictographs, clothing, kivas, and weavings.
Of cultural and spiritual significance to the Blackfoot people, ochre pictographs on the immense boulder record a story of origins of the Blackfoot people.
The art on the walls of the rock shelters includes red ochre pictographs of animals with some entire wall sections painted red.
A few photographs in the Southwest show pictographs or ruins.
Like millions of people across East Asia, 23-year-old Matsumura is forgetting the pictographs and ideographs that have been used in Japan and greater China for centuries.
Another group contains painted pictographs positioned on vertical bluff faces.
He treated the canvas as a Rauschenhergianflatbed across which letters, marks, and pictographs are scattered like so much litter, or a wall to be defaced with so many photocopies--the populist news medium beloved by punk bands, owners of lost dogs, political rabble-rousers, and paranoid cranks--before being slathered with color and semi-obscured in turn.
Despite questions over a lack of documented evidence, Stanley Knowlton, head of interpretive services at Head Smashed-In Buffalo Jump and member of the Piikani First Nation, maintains that historical etchings, described as pictographs or petroglyphs, existed on a glacial boulder known as the Glenwood Erratic before being destroyed by an act of vandalism.
The sites are a rich trove of pre-Colombian pictographs, with some ceramic remains as well as wooden pieces.