What does telegraph mean?

Definitions for telegraph
ˈtɛl ɪˌgræf, -ˌgrɑftele·graph

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word telegraph.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. telegraph, telegraphyverb

    apparatus used to communicate at a distance over a wire (usually in Morse code)

  2. cable, telegraph, wireverb

    send cables, wires, or telegrams


  1. telegraphnoun

    An apparatus, or a process, for communicating rapidly between distant points, especially by means of established visible or audible signals representing words or ideas, or by means of words and signs, transmitted by electrical means.

  2. telegraphverb

    To send a message by telegraph

  3. telegraphverb

    To give nonverbal signals to another, as with gestures or a change in attitude.

    Her frown telegraphed her displeasure.

  4. telegraphverb

    To show one's intended action unintentionally.

  5. Etymology: From télégraphe.


  1. telegraph

    Telegraphy is the long-distance transmission of messages where the sender uses symbolic codes, known to the recipient, rather than a physical exchange of an object bearing the message. Thus flag semaphore is a method of telegraphy, whereas pigeon post is not. Ancient signalling systems, although sometimes quite extensive and sophisticated as in China, were generally not capable of transmitting arbitrary text messages. Possible messages were fixed and predetermined and such systems are thus not true telegraphs. The earliest true telegraph put into widespread use was the optical telegraph of Claude Chappe, invented in the late 18th century. The system was used extensively in France, and European nations occupied by France, during the Napoleonic era. The electric telegraph started to replace the optical telegraph in the mid-19th century. It was first taken up in Britain in the form of the Cooke and Wheatstone telegraph, initially used mostly as an aid to railway signalling. This was quickly followed by a different system developed in the United States by Samuel Morse. The electric telegraph was slower to develop in France due to the established optical telegraph system, but an electrical telegraph was put into use with a code compatible with the Chappe optical telegraph. The Morse system was adopted as the international standard in 1865, using a modified Morse code developed in Germany in 1848.The heliograph is a telegraph system using reflected sunlight for signalling. It was mainly used in areas where the electrical telegraph had not been established and generally used the same code. The most extensive heliograph network established was in Arizona and New Mexico during the Apache Wars. The heliograph was standard military equipment as late as World War II. Wireless telegraphy developed in the early 20th century became important for maritime use, and was a competitor to electrical telegraphy using submarine telegraph cables in international communications. Telegrams became a popular means of sending messages once telegraph prices had fallen sufficiently. Traffic became high enough to spur the development of automated systems—teleprinters and punched tape transmission. These systems led to new telegraph codes, starting with the Baudot code. However, telegrams were never able to compete with the letter post on price, and competition from the telephone, which removed their speed advantage, drove the telegraph into decline from 1920 onwards. The few remaining telegraph applications were largely taken over by alternatives on the internet towards the end of the 20th century.


  1. telegraph

    A telegraph is a communication system that was used predominantly in the 19th and early 20th centuries, which transmits and receives simple coded messages, typically using electrical signals sent over a wire or radio waves. The messages are often in the form of Morse code, a series of dots and dashes representing different letters and numbers.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Telegraphnoun

    an apparatus, or a process, for communicating intelligence rapidly between distant points, especially by means of preconcerted visible or audible signals representing words or ideas, or by means of words and signs, transmitted by electrical action

  2. Telegraphverb

    to convey or announce by telegraph


  1. Telegraph

    Telegraph is the debut album by actor, singer, and songwriter Drake Bell. The entire album was recorded by Drake and producer, Michael Corcoran as well as a few friends. The entire album was recorded in a simple home studio using a Digidesign Digi 002. The following record, It's Only Time was recorded at the time in a newly built studio named, The Backhouse. The album was released on September 27, 2005 and was issued by Backhouse Mike's label Backhouse Records and the now defunct label Nine Yards Records. Being an independently released production, it ran out of print, and was subsequently re-released on August 7, 2007. Still, it can be found in stores like F.y.e., Barnes & Noble and eBay.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Telegraph

    tel′e-graf, n. an apparatus for transmitting intelligible messages to a distance, esp. by means of electricity.—v.t. to convey or announce by telegraph.—ns. Tel′egraph-cā′ble, a cable containing wires for transmitting telegraphic messages; Tel′egrapher (or tē-leg′-), Tel′egraphist (or tē-leg′-), one who works a telegraph.—adjs. Telegraph′ic, -al, pertaining to, or communicated by, a telegraph.—adv. Telegraph′ically, in a telegraphic manner: by means of the telegraph.—ns. Tel′egraph-plant, an Indian leguminous plant, the small lateral leaflets of whose trifoliate leaves have a strange, spontaneous motion, jerking up and down (sometimes 180 times in a minute), as if signalling, and also rotate on their axes; Tel′egraphy (or tē-leg′-), the science or art of constructing or using telegraphs. [Gr. tēle at a distance, graphein to write.]

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British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'telegraph' in Nouns Frequency: #2713

How to pronounce telegraph?

How to say telegraph in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of telegraph in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of telegraph in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of telegraph in a Sentence

  1. Rebekah Koffler:

    They're a little bit influenced by that and they wanted to telegraph to the policymakers the urgency.

  2. Steve Warren:

    I'm not going to tell you you're wrong, but I'm also not going to telegraph our punches.

  3. Bruce Springsteen:

    ( We) didnt want to telegraph to the viewer what youre supposed to feel.

  4. White House spokesman Earnest:

    If there is a response, it's probably not one we are likely to telegraph in advance.

  5. Steve Warren:

    I'm not going to telegraph anything.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for telegraph

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"telegraph." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 14 Jun 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/telegraph>.

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