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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).]
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.