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 the Appendix of Indo-European roots + -GRAPH.]
pic·togra·phy (pĭk-tŏgrə-fē) n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.