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[ahy-kuh-nog-ruh-fee] /ˌaɪ kəˈnɒg rə fi/
noun, plural iconographies.
symbolic representation, especially the conventional meanings attached to an image or images.
subject matter in the visual arts, especially with reference to the conventions regarding the treatment of a subject in artistic representation.
the study or analysis of subject matter and its meaning in the visual arts; iconology.
a representation or a group of representations of a person, place, or thing, as a portrait or a collection of portraits.
Origin of iconography
1620-30; < Medieval Latin īconographia < Greek eikonographía. See icono-, -graphy
Related forms
[ahy-kon-uh-graf, -grahf] /aɪˈkɒn əˌgræf, -ˌgrɑf/ (Show IPA),
iconographer, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for iconography
  • Essays on the iconography of seduction range from film to fashion.
  • We are inescapably surrounded by their culture, iconography and ideology.
  • Improved iconography for folders, collections, collection sets and output collections.
  • And of course there is the reaction to the current war that comes in the iconography.
  • In its time, heavy metal's iconography was serious, heady stuff.
  • Even the iconography of scandal feels different here.
  • Although it is kind of perplexing how such iconography came about.
  • One graphic designer tallies the iconography of two cities.
  • Kate, is an art historian who is supposed to be writing her book on iconography.
  • The plot-crammed movie is genuinely transfixing, as it taps the master's inexhaustible magic hat of scattershot iconography.
British Dictionary definitions for iconography


noun (pl) -phies
  1. the symbols used in a work of art or art movement
  2. the conventional significance attached to such symbols
a collection of pictures of a particular subject, such as Christ
the representation of the subjects of icons or portraits, esp on coins
Derived Forms
iconographer, noun
iconographic (aɪˌkɒnəˈɡræfɪk), iconographical, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for iconography

1620s, from Medieval Latin iconographia, from Greek eikonographia "sketch, description," from eikon (see icon) + -graphia (see -graphy). Related: Iconographic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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