Definition of hieroglyph in English:

Share this entry

hieroglyph

Pronunciation: /ˈhʌɪ(ə)rəɡlɪf/

noun

1A stylized picture of an object representing a word, syllable, or sound, as found in ancient Egyptian and certain other writing systems: hieroglyphs describing the Mayan calendar
More example sentences
  • In much of the Egyptian hieroglyphs, the Pharaoh was often depicted as almost larger than life, with great power and much of Egyptian art is a celebration of his accomplishments.
  • The ancient Egyptians either engraved the hieroglyphs in the stonework of their temples or painted them on the walls of the burial chamber or inscribed them with a reed pen on rolls of papyrus, the antecedent of our paper.
  • It seems that Egyptians continued to use hieroglyphs from around 3000 b.c. until the time of the Roman Empire.
1.1A secret or incomprehensible symbol: the International Organisation for Standardization is introducing two new hieroglyphs to perplex washing-machine owners
More example sentences
  • These images function as hieroglyphs of traumatic repressions.

Origin

Late 16th century: back-formation from hieroglyphic.

Share this entry
 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.