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-graphy

Also ‑graph, ‑graphic, ‑graphical, and ‑grapher.

Writing; the production of images; descriptive sciences or studies.

Greek graphein, to write.

The set of words in ‑graphy is extremely varied. Terms relate to writing, to the transmission of messages or information over a distance, the production of images of various kinds, a descriptive science or study, or a list. For examples, see the list below.

It is common for these terms to have linked words ending in ‑graph, often for the result of the process (as photography produces a photograph), but sometimes for an instrument involved in a process (seismograph, telegraph); the names of records produced in such cases often end in ‑gram.

Adjectives may be formed from words in ‑graphy or ‑graph either in ‑graphic (choreographic, topographic) or ‑graphical (geographical, stratigraphical). In many cases both forms exist. The name of a person engaged in the activity or discipline ends in ‑grapher (lexicographer, stenographer). See also grapho‑, ‑al1, and ‑y3.

Examples of words in -graphy

All word origins are from Greek unless otherwise stated.

Relating directly to writing or the transmission of messages:

biography

an account of a person's life

bios, life

cryptography

the art of preparing or reading codes or ciphers

kruptos, hidden

lexicography

the practice of compiling dictionaries

lexis, word

orthography

spelling, especially correct spelling

orthos, straight

stenography

writing and transcribing shorthand

stenos, narrow

telegraphy

the science of transmitting information over a distance

tēle‑, far off

The production of images, graphs, or diagrams:

cartography

the science of drawing maps

khartēs, papyrus leaf

cinematography

the art of making motion pictures

French cinématographic, from Greek kinēma, movement, from kinein, to move

photography

the taking of photographs

phōs, light

pornography

writing and images designed to stimulate sexual excitement

pornographos, writing about prostitutes

radiography

the production of images by X-rays, gamma rays, etc.

Latin radius, a ray

tomography

a technique for producing a cross-section of the human body X-rays or ultrasound

tomos, slice or section

xerography

a dry copying process

xēros, dry

A descriptive science or study:

choreography

the art of designing steps in ballet or another staged dance, or the written steps for such movements

khoros, chorus

cosmography

the science of the universe

kosmos, order, world

demography

the study of statistics charting the changing structure of human populations

dēmos, the people

ethnography

the study of different peoples

ethnos nation

geography

the science of the physical features of the earth and their relation to human populations

, earth

oceanography

the science of the sea

from ocean

petrography

the study of rocks

petros, stone

A descriptive list of titles, authors or performers:

bibliography

books

biblion, book

discography

musical recordings

English disc, in the sense of a gramophone record

filmography

films

English film

webliography

a listing of pages on the World Wide Web

English web

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