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[glif] /glɪf/
a pictograph or hieroglyph.
a sculptured figure or relief carving.
Architecture. an ornamental channel or groove.
Origin of glyph
1720-30; < Greek glyph(ḗ) carving, derivative of glýphein to hollow out
Related forms
glyphic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for glyphic
Historical Examples
  • Doctor glyphic, if he be living now, must be more than sixty years old.

    Idolatry Julian Hawthorne
  • In respect to Doctor glyphic's affair he was ready and explicit.

    Idolatry Julian Hawthorne
  • Had Doctor glyphic crowned his eccentricities by marrying, and begetting a daughter?

    Idolatry Julian Hawthorne
  • They contained the fruits of Doctor glyphic's antiquarian researches.

    Idolatry Julian Hawthorne
  • In due course of time Doctor glyphic's worthy step-father died.

    Idolatry Julian Hawthorne
  • This interchange in certain cases probably resulted from the needs of glyphic balance and symmetry.

  • We might build up an ideographic or glyphic language of signs—the signs being spectra.

    A Trip to Venus John Munro
  • How was a glyphic comparison of the phonic symbols of both languages made in substantiation of the oral comparison?

    Ulysses James Joyce
  • The natural inference is that, unless so odd a name be an assumed one, Doctor glyphic occupies that room.

    Idolatry Julian Hawthorne
  • Each room—so reads the legend—was fitted up in the style of a different country, according to glyphic's notion of it!

    Idolatry Julian Hawthorne
British Dictionary definitions for glyphic


a carved channel or groove, esp a vertical one as used on a Doric frieze
(rare) another word for hieroglyphic
any computer-generated character regarded in terms of its shape and bit pattern
Derived Forms
glyphic, adjective
Word Origin
C18: from French glyphe, from Greek gluphē carving, from gluphein to carve
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 glyphic



1727, "ornamental groove in architecture," from French glyphe (1701), from Greek glyphe "a carving," from glyphein "to hollow out, cut out with a knife, engrave, carve," from PIE root *gleubh- "to cut, slice" (cf. Latin glubere "to peel, shell, strip," Old English cleofan "to cleave"). Meaning "sculpted mark or symbol" (as in hieroglyph) is from 1825.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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