hieroglyphic

[hahy-er-uh-glif-ik, hahy-ruh-]

adjective

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.

noun


Nearby words

  1. hiero-,
  2. hierocracy,
  3. hierodeacon,
  4. hierodule,
  5. hieroglyph,
  6. hieroglyphic hittite,
  7. hieroglyphics,
  8. hieroglyphist,
  9. hieroglyphology,
  10. hierogram

Origin of hieroglyphic

1575–85; < Late Latin hieroglyphicus < Greek hieroglyphikós “pertaining to sacred writing.” See hiero-, glyph, -ic

Related formshi·er·o·glyph·i·cal·ly, adverb

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hieroglyphic


British Dictionary definitions for hieroglyphic

hieroglyphic

adjective Also: hieroglyphical

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

noun Also: hieroglyph

a picture or symbol representing an object, concept, or sound
a symbol or picture that is difficult to read or decipher
Derived Formshieroglyphically, adverbhieroglyphist (ˌhaɪərəˈɡlɪfɪst, ˌhaɪəˈrɒɡ-), noun

Word Origin for hieroglyphic

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 hieroglyphic

hieroglyphic

1580s (adj. and n.), from Late Latin hieroglyphicus, from Greek hieroglyphikos "hieroglyphic; of Egyptian writing," from hieros "sacred" (see ire) + glyphe "carving," from glyphein "to carve" (see glyph). Plutarch began the custom of using the adjective (ta hieroglyphika) as a noun.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper