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hi·er·o·glyph·ic(hī′ər-ə-glĭf′ĭk, hī′rə-) also hi·er·o·glyph·i·cal (-ĭ-kəl)
a. Of, relating to, or being a system of writing, such as that of ancient Egypt, in which pictorial symbols are used to represent meaning or sounds or a combination of meaning and sound.
b. Written with such symbols.
2. Difficult to read or decipher.
a. A hieroglyph.
b. often hieroglyphics(used with a sing. or pl. verb) Hieroglyphic writing, especially that of the ancient Egyptians.
2. Something, such as illegible or undecipherable writing, that is felt to resemble a hieroglyph.
[French hiéroglyphique, from Late Latin hieroglyphicus, from Greek hierogluphikos : hieros, holy; see eis- in Indo-European roots + gluphē, carving (from gluphein, to carve; see gleubh- in Indo-European roots).]
1. (Letters of the Alphabet (Foreign)) of or relating to a form of writing using picture symbols, esp as used in ancient Egypt
2. (Letters of the Alphabet (Foreign)) written with hieroglyphic symbols
3. difficult to read or decipher
4. (Letters of the Alphabet (Foreign)) a picture or symbol representing an object, concept, or sound
5. a symbol or picture that is difficult to read or decipher
[C16: from Late Latin hieroglyphicus, from Greek hierogluphikos, from hiero- + gluphē carving, from gluphein to carve]
hi•er•o•glyph•ic(ˌhaɪ ər əˈglɪf ɪk, ˌhaɪ rə-)
adj. Also, hi`er•o•glyph′i•cal.
1. of or designating a pictographic script, as that of the ancient Egyptians, in which many of the symbols are conventionalized pictures of the things represented.
2. inscribed with hieroglyphic symbols.
3. hard to decipher; hard to read.n.
4. Also, hi′er•o•glyph`. a hieroglyphic symbol.
5. Usu., hieroglyphics. hieroglyphic writing.
6. a figure or symbol with a hidden meaning.
7. hieroglyphics, characters or symbols that are difficult to decipher.
[1575–85; < Late Latin hieroglyphicus < Greek hieroglyphikós pertaining to sacred writing. See hiero-, glyph, -ic]
Switch to new thesaurus
|Noun||1.||hieroglyphic - writing that resembles hieroglyphics (usually by being illegible)|
writing - letters or symbols that are written or imprinted on a surface to represent the sounds or words of a language; "he turned the paper over so the writing wouldn't show"; "the doctor's writing was illegible"
|2.||hieroglyphic - a writing system using picture symbols; used in ancient Egypt|
orthography, writing system - a method of representing the sounds of a language by written or printed symbols
|Adj.||1.||hieroglyphic - resembling hieroglyphic writing|
|2.||hieroglyphic - written in or belonging to a writing system using pictorial symbols|