Hieroglyph Hi"er*o*glyph, Hieroglyphic Hi`er*o*glyph"ic, n. [Cf. F. hi['e]roglyphe. See {Hieroglyphic}, a.] [1913 Webster] 1. A sacred character; a character used in picture writing, as of the ancient Egyptians, Mexicans, etc. Specifically, in the plural, the picture writing of the ancient Egyptian priests. It is made up of three, or, as some say, four classes of characters: first, the hieroglyphic proper, or figurative, in which the representation of the object conveys the idea of the object itself; second, the ideographic, consisting of symbols representing ideas, not sounds, as an ostrich feather is a symbol of truth; third, the phonetic, consisting of symbols employed as syllables of a word, or as letters of the alphabet, having a certain sound, as a hawk represented the vowel a. [1913 Webster]

2. Any character or figure which has, or is supposed to have, a hidden or mysterious significance; hence, any unintelligible or illegible character or mark. [Colloq.]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • hieroglyph — [hī′ər ō glif΄, hī′rə glif΄] n. HIEROGLYPHIC * * * hi·er·o·glyph (hīʹər ə glĭf , hīʹrə ) n. 1. A picture or symbol used in hieroglyphic writing. 2. Something that suggests a hieroglyph. * * * Character in any of several systems of writing that is …   Universalium

  • hieroglyph — (n.) 1590s, shortening of hieroglyphic (n.), 1590s; see HIEROGLYPHIC (Cf. hieroglyphic) …   Etymology dictionary

  • hieroglyph — ► NOUN ▪ a stylized picture of an object representing a word, syllable, or sound, as found in ancient Egyptian and certain other writing systems …   English terms dictionary

  • hieroglyph — [hī′ər ō glif΄, hī′rə glif΄] n. HIEROGLYPHIC …   English World dictionary

  • Hieroglyph — wiktionary|hieroglyphHieroglyph (Greek gr. ἱερογλύφος sacred carving ) or hieroglyphics ( = gr. τὰ ἱερογλυφικά [γράμματα] ) may refer to: *Egyptian hieroglyphs **Cursive hieroglyphs *more generally, a character of any logographic or partly… …   Wikipedia

  • hieroglyph — noun Etymology: French hiéroglyphe, from Middle French, back formation from hieroglyphique Date: 1598 1. a character used in a system of hieroglyphic writing 2. something that resembles a hieroglyph …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • hieroglyph — hieroglifas statusas T sritis informatika apibrėžtis Rašto ženklas, žymintis daiktą, jo rūšį, sąvoką arba priebalsių junginį. Hieroglifai yra egiptiečių, kinų, japonų, arabų ir kitų tautų ideografinio rašto sistemų ženklai. Paveiksle pateikta… …   Enciklopedinis kompiuterijos žodynas

  • hieroglyph — noun /ˈhaɪɹəˌɡlɪf/ an element of an ideographic (hieroglyphic) writing system …   Wiktionary

  • Hieroglyph — Иероглиф …   Краткий толковый словарь по полиграфии

  • hieroglyph — (Roget s IV) n. Syn. pictograph, code, cryptograph; see symbol …   English dictionary for students

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