• synonyms


  1. a drawing or carving on rock, made by a member of a prehistoric people.
Show More

Origin of petroglyph

From the French word pétroglyphe, dating back to 1865–70. See petro-1, glyph
Also called petrograph.
Related formspet·ro·glyph·ic, adjectivepe·trog·ly·phy [pi-trog-luh-fee] /pɪˈtrɒg lə fi/, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for petroglyph

Historical Examples of petroglyph

  • The large figure on the right reminds us of the human form of the petroglyph at Nanaimo.

    The Archaeology of the Yakima Valley

    Harlan Ingersoll Smith

British Dictionary definitions for petroglyph


  1. a drawing or carving on rock, esp a prehistoric one
Show More

Word Origin for petroglyph

C19: via French from Greek petra stone + gluphē carving
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 petroglyph


1870, from French pétroglyphe, from Greek petra "rock" (see petrous) + glyphe "carving" (see glyph).

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper