• synonyms


  1. a pictograph or hieroglyph.
  2. a sculptured figure or relief carving.
  3. Architecture. an ornamental channel or groove.
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Origin of glyph

1720–30; < Greek glyph(ḗ) carving, derivative of glýphein to hollow out
Related formsglyph·ic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for glyph

Historical Examples

British Dictionary definitions for glyph


  1. a carved channel or groove, esp a vertical one as used on a Doric frieze
  2. rare another word for hieroglyphic
  3. any computer-generated character regarded in terms of its shape and bit pattern
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Derived Formsglyphic, 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

Word Origin and History for glyph


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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper