Stories We Like: A Guide to the Comma


[mon-uh-gram] /ˈmɒn əˌgræm/
a design consisting of two or more alphabetic letters combined or interlaced, commonly one's initials, often printed on stationery, embroidered on clothing, etc.
a single emblematic or decorative letter; applied initial.
verb (used with object), monogrammed, monogramming.
to decorate with a monogram.
1600-10; < Late Latin monogramma, irregular < Late Greek monógrammon. See mono-, -gram1
Related forms
[mon-uh-gruh-mat-ik] /ˌmɒn ə grəˈmæt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
monogrammatical, monogrammic, adjective
unmonogrammed, adjective
Can be confused
monogram, monograph. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for monogram
  • One bride to be has her monogram worked on her dish towels.
  • It may take six weeks for delivery of standard duffel bags, which can be ordered with a monogram.
  • She used this play-on-words to create a special signature: a monogram of her initials with a shooting star.
  • monogram litigation questioned the timing of the regulation.
  • monogram continued to experiment with series some hit and some missed.
British Dictionary definitions for monogram


a design of one or more letters, esp initials, embroidered on clothing, printed on stationery, etc
verb monograms, monogramming, monogrammed
(transitive; usually passive) to decorate (clothing, stationery, etc) with a monogram
Derived Forms
monogrammatic (ˌmɒnəɡrəˈmætɪk) adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Late Latin monogramma, from Greek; see mono-, -gram
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 monogram
1690s, from Fr. monogramme, from L.L. monogramma (5c.), from Late Gk. monogrammon, "a character formed of several letters in one design," especially in ref. to the signature of the Byzantine emperors, from neut. of monogrammos (adj.) "consisting of a single letter," lit. "drawn with single lines," from Gk. monos "single, alone" + gramma "letter, line." Earlier it meant "sketch or picture drawn in lines only, without shading or color," a sense also found in Latin and probably in Greek. Related: Monogrammed.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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