Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A character or symbol representing an idea or a thing without expressing the pronunciation of a particular word or words for it, as in the traffic sign commonly used for "no parking” or "parking prohibited.” Also called ideograph.
  • n. See logogram.
  • n. A graphic symbol, such as &, $, or @.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A symbol which represents the idea of something without indicating the sequence of sounds used to pronounce it. Examples include numerals, many Chinese characters, traffic signs, or graphic symbols such as & and @.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An original, pictorial element of writing; a kind of hieroglyph expressing no sound, but only an idea.
  • n. A symbol used for convenience, or for abbreviation
  • n. A phonetic symbol; a letter.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Same as ideograph.
  • n. In phonetics, the visual symbol of a word or phrase that is perceived as a whole and thus constitutes a single idea. Ideograms are distinguished as sensory or motor, according as the word or phrase is seen or written. See ideophone.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a graphic character that indicates the meaning of a thing without indicating the sounds used to say it

Etymologies

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