Definition of hieroglyphic in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌhī(ə)rəˈɡlifik/


Image of hieroglyphic
1Writing consisting of hieroglyphs.
Example sentences
  • But of course the great intellectual barrier that Champollion had to overcome was this long-held assumption that hieroglyphics were just picture writing.
  • Ancient Egyptians developed a pictographic and ideographic writing system known as hieroglyphics.
  • Some think that since the Egyptians were such a close, rigid society that they invented the form of writing called hieroglyphics, but that is simply not true.
1.1Enigmatic or incomprehensible symbols or writing: tattered notebooks filled with illegible hieroglyphics
More example sentences
  • I had aced the course in high school, so what were these hieroglyphics that the professor scribbled on the blackboard with such gusto?
  • He accessed the file - unreadable junk, nothing but hieroglyphics and squiggles on the screen.
  • There was much furtive whispering and glancing in my direction - who is this strange lao wai, with two cameras and writing strange hieroglyphics in his little notebook?


1Of or written in hieroglyphs.
Example sentences
  • Examining texts brought from Egypt, he began to identify a relationship between hieroglyphic and non-hieroglyphic scripts.
  • Today, brilliant work by a small band of epigraphers, has resulted in Maya hieroglyphic texts - once dismissed as indecipherable - becoming understood well enough to yield some narrative history.
  • Then, in 1799 near the town of Rosetta, a French explorer found a 2,000-year-old stone slab that had extensive hieroglyphic inscriptions and a perfect Greek translation beneath it.
1.1(Especially in art) stylized, symbolic, or enigmatic in effect.
Example sentences
  • In the late 1930s and early '40s, Loren MacIver developed a sweet, playful style that superimposed linear, symbolic and hieroglyphic forms on soft, pale washes of color.
  • Frosted light from lanterns, images of dragons, porcelain figurines, and banners with hieroglyphic messages, enhanced the decor of the restaurant, while soft and relaxing music played gently in the background.
  • Like the indigenous tribes of Latin America or Africa I was using art as a hieroglyphic language, a language capable of transcending all the borders and cultural differences.



Pronunciation: /ˌhīrəˈɡlifək(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • Phase's work became ever more complex and grew further and further away from its original simple signature towards a hieroglyphical calligraphic abstraction.
  • The learned adhere closely to their hieroglyphical writing, representing every word by its corresponding picture.
  • It has been said that of the component elements of his hieroglyphical name, Isis is the first, and that the name Osiris really signifies the ‘Eye of Isis.’


Example sentences
  • They documented the Nile's central role hieroglyphically on many monuments and tomb murals, symbolizing it in the form of a grape vine.
  • Rameses the Second got that pact engraved hieroglyphically on the walls of the Temple of Karnack.
  • At Luxor, Amun's wife, Mut, was hieroglyphically depicted as a vulturess or as a human with a vulture head.


Late 16th century: from French hiéroglyphique, from Greek hierogluphikos, from hieros 'sacred' + gluphē 'carving'.

Words that rhyme with hieroglyphic

anaglyphic, beatific, calorific, colorific, honorific, horrific, Indo-Pacific, pacific, prolific, scientific, soporific, specific, terrific, transpacific, triglyphic

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: hi·er·o·glyph·ic

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