- 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 hieroglyph
His memorandum, indeed, was as cryptic as an Egyptian hieroglyph.The Borough Treasurer
Joseph Smith Fletcher
The god was never a symbol or hieroglyph representing the sun.A Miscellany of Men
G. K. Chesterton
For him a picture is more or less a hieroglyph or symbol of story.The Gentle Art of Making Enemies
James McNeill Whistler
Pierre knew very well what a hieroglyph was, but dared not speak.War and Peace
All in me and out of me is only the hieroglyph of a power which is like to me.The Philosophical Letters
- 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 hieroglyph
1590s, shortening of hieroglyphic (n.), 1590s; see hieroglyphic.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper