- Also hi·er·o·glyph·i·cal. designating or pertaining to a pictographic script, particularly that of the ancient Egyptians, in which many of the symbols are conventionalized, recognizable pictures of the things represented.
- inscribed with hieroglyphic symbols.
- hard to decipher; hard to read.
- Also hi·er·o·glyph. a hieroglyphic symbol.
- Usually hieroglyphics. hieroglyphic writing.
- a figure or symbol with a hidden meaning.
- hieroglyphics, handwriting, figures, characters, code, etc., difficult to decipher: the confusing hieroglyphics of advanced mathematics.
Origin of hieroglyphic
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for hieroglyphics
But, unfamiliar with hieroglyphics, his handiwork was lost upon her.St. Cuthbert's
Robert E. Knowles
In Egyptian hieroglyphics the symbol for stone is used as the determinative for Set.The Evolution of the Dragon
G. Elliot Smith
I shall not, in this connection, enter into a discussion of the nature of these hieroglyphics.The Maya Chronicles
Hieroglyphics of thought were there, too mysterious for the common eye to interpret.Ernest Linwood
Caroline Lee Hentz
Their occupations are designated by the hieroglyphics above them.A Popular History of the Art of Music</p>
W. S. B. Mathews
- a form of writing, esp as used in ancient Egypt, in which pictures or symbols are used to represent objects, concepts, or sounds
- difficult or undecipherable writing
- of or relating to a form of writing using picture symbols, esp as used in ancient Egypt
- written with hieroglyphic symbols
- difficult to read or decipher
- a picture or symbol representing an object, concept, or sound
- a symbol or picture that is difficult to read or decipher
C16: from Late Latin hieroglyphicus, from Greek hierogluphikos, from hiero- + 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
Word Origin and History for hieroglyphics
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
A system of writing with pictures that represent words or sounds. The ancient Egyptians wrote with hieroglyphics. (See Rosetta stone.)
Present-day writing that is hard to decipher or understand is sometimes jokingly called “hieroglyphics.”
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.