Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.


 (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).]

hi′er·o·glyph′i·cal·ly adv.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.hieroglyphical - resembling hieroglyphic writing
2.hieroglyphical - written in or belonging to a writing system using pictorial symbols
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
Mentioned in ?
References in classic literature ?
These are hieroglyphical; that is, if you call those mysterious cyphers on the walls of pyramids hieroglyphics, then that is the proper word to use in the present connexion.
It was thickly ornamented with paintings, representing funeral scenes, and other mournful subjects -- interspersed among which, in every variety of position, were certain series of hieroglyphical characters, intended, no doubt, for the name of the departed.
His robe was of the finest skins, which had been deprived of their fur, in order to admit of a hieroglyphical representation of various deeds in arms, done in former ages.
This would have been an insuperable bar to journalizing with most men; but Richard invented a kind of hieroglyphical character, which was intended to note all the ordinary occurrences of a day, such as how the wind blew, whether the sun shone, or whether it rained, the hours, etc.
He remembered all about the incident of the boxes, and from a wonderful dog-eared notebook, which he produced from some mysterious receptacle about the seat of his trousers, and which had hieroglyphical entries in thick, half-obliterated pencil, he gave me the destinations of the boxes.
I at once looked upon the figure of the animal as a kind of punning or hieroglyphical signature.