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 (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:
Adv.1.hieroglyphically - by means of hieroglyphs; "hieroglyphically written"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Temple being supposed to have represented the universe, the entablature round the inside of the structure may be conceived to have intimated the division between heaven and earth; the lights, those of the firmament; and all the plain surface of gold, that beautiful and terminate view a clear day exhibits to the eye: the cherubim above, and the pillars below, represented the inhabitants of heaven, and those of the earth; the first in their real shapes, the last hieroglyphically. (70) While the structure of the Temple was the universe itself, Wood took the measurements of the Temple to be monuments to biblical events.
"They serve, hieroglyphically" to map the movement "of language along its own pathways" (ibid.).
41), in which the name and title of an individual are written twice--once hieroglyphically and again using hieratic sign forms.