Rosetta stone


noun

a stone slab, found in 1799 near Rosetta, bearing parallel inscriptions in Greek, Egyptian hieroglyphic, and demotic characters, making possible the decipherment of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics.
a clue, breakthrough, or discovery that provides crucial knowledge for the solving of a puzzle or problem.

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British Dictionary definitions for Rosetta stone

Rosetta stone

noun

a basalt slab discovered in 1799 at Rosetta, dating to the reign of Ptolemy V (196 bc) and carved with parallel inscriptions in Egyptian hieroglyphics, demotic characters, and Greek, which provided the key to the decipherment of ancient Egyptian texts
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

Cultural definitions for Rosetta stone

Rosetta stone

A stone discovered in Egypt (see also Egypt) in the late eighteenth century, inscribed with ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics and a translation of them in Greek. The stone proved to be the key to understanding Egyptian writing.

notes for Rosetta stone

A “Rosetta stone” is the key to understanding a complex problem.
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.