Definition of glyph in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɡlif/


1A hieroglyphic character or symbol; a pictograph: flanges painted with esoteric glyphs
More example sentences
  • I even spent an afternoon studying a book devoted to drawings of various Goddess symbols and glyphs found on ancient artifacts.
  • In addition to the pure luxury of the items in the tent, and the canvas itself, everything in the room crawled with magic symbols and glyphs.
  • The mat is charged with odd symbols and glyphs arranged in a circle between two concentric rings.
1.1Strictly, a sculptured symbol (e.g., as forming the ancient Mayan writing system).
Example sentences
  • An extinct script, such as Egyptian hieroglyphs, Babylonian cuneiform or the glyphs of the ancient Maya of Central America, may strike us as little short of miraculous and bizarrely different from our own alphabetic scripts.
  • But until recently, when linguists like David Kelley were able to translate Mayan glyphs, we knew very little about the Mayans.
  • It was understood that a large percentage of the glyphs on any given Maya monument were dates - dates, moreover, that placed each object within an elaborate and incredibly precise series of calendrical cycles.
1.2 Computing A small graphic symbol.
Example sentences
  • Topics covered are: fonts, size, color, leading, kerning, tracking, paragraph spacing and alignment, hyphenation and composition, glyphs and special characters.
  • To get around them, senders have resorted to representing these words using other characters and punctuation as glyphs to create letter and word shapes that our smart eyes and brains can discern, but stupid junk mail filters can't.
  • In April 1997, Xerox said that Palm, then owned by US Robotics, had infringed that patent when it released Graffiti, a series of ‘shorthand’ symbols drawn instead of real character glyphs.
2 Architecture An ornamental carved groove or channel, as on a Greek frieze.
Example sentences
  • According to glyphs carved on a stone altar, Yax K'uk Mo arrived at Copán on 8 February 427, five months after his coronation on 5 September 426.



Pronunciation: /ˈɡlifik/
Example sentences
  • Many of his statements have a universalizing character: thoughts on glyphic markings on earliest African rock art, on the wall patterning of Great Zimbabwe and on cattle-keepers' interests in ornamentation in eastern Africa.
  • Most of the thousands of stamp seals that have been found are masterpieces of glyphic art, showing the large animals of northwestern India in miniature relief.
  • Delphin font is glyphic or inscriptional - used solely for setting the title.


Late 18th century (sense 2): from French glyphe, from Greek gluphē 'carving'.

Words that rhyme with glyph

biff, cliff, if, kif, miff, niff, quiff, riff, skew-whiff, skiff, sniff, spliff, stiff, tiff, whiff

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: glyph

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