Hieroglyphic
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.

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  • Hieroglyphic — Hi er*o*glyph ic, Hieroglyphical Hi er*o*glyph ic*al, a. [L. hieroglyphicus, Gr. ?; iero s sacred + gly fein to carve: cf. F. hi[ e]roglyphique.] [1913 Webster] 1. Emblematic; expressive of some meaning by characters, pictures, or figures; as,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • hieroglyphic — 1580s (adj. and n.), from L.L. hieroglyphicus, from Gk. hieroglyphikos hieroglyphic; of Egyptian writing, from hieros sacred (see IRE (Cf. ire)) + glyphe carving, from glyphein to carve (see GLYPH (Cf. glyph)). Plutarch began the custom of using… …   Etymology dictionary

  • hieroglyphic — index hidden Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • hieroglyphic — ► NOUN (hieroglyphics) ▪ writing consisting of hieroglyphs. ► ADJECTIVE ▪ of or written in hieroglyphs. DERIVATIVES hieroglyphical adjective. ORIGIN Greek hierogluphikos, from hieros sacred + gluph carving …   English terms dictionary

  • hieroglyphic — [hī΄ər ō΄glif′ik, hī΄rə glif′ik] adj. [Fr hiéroglyphique < LL hieroglyphicus < Gr hieroglyphikos < hieros, sacred (see HIERO ) + glyphein, to carve, hollow out: see GLYPH] 1. of, or having the nature of, hieroglyphics 2. written in… …   English World dictionary

  • hieroglyphic — I. adjective also hieroglyphical Etymology: Middle French hieroglyphique, from Late Latin hieroglyphicus, from Greek hieroglyphikos, from hieros + glyphein to carve more at cleave Date: 1585 1. written in, constituting, or belonging to a system… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • hieroglyphic — hieroglyphically, adv. /huy euhr euh glif ik, huy reuh /, adj. 1. Also, hieroglyphical. 2. designating or pertaining to a pictographic script, particularly that of the ancient Egyptians, in which many of the symbols are conventionalized,… …   Universalium

  • hieroglyphic — hi•er•o•glyph•ic [[t]ˌhaɪ ər əˈglɪf ɪk, ˌhaɪ rə [/t]] adj. Also, hi er•o•glyph′i•cal. 1) ling. of or designating a pictographic script, as that of the ancient Egyptians, in which many of the symbols are conventionalized pictures of the things… …   From formal English to slang

  • hieroglyphic — /haɪərəˈglɪfɪk / (say huyuhruh glifik) adjective Also, hieroglyphical. 1. designating or relating to a writing system, particularly that of the ancient Egyptians, in which many of the symbols are conventionalised pictures of the things they stand …   Australian English dictionary

  • Hieroglyphic —    Modern term derived from the Greek word used to describe the standard form of Egyptian writing to express the Egyptian language. The earliest forms appear at the end of the Predynastic Period and the Early Dynastic Period, but the script does… …   Ancient Egypt

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