hieroglyph

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English[edit]

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Egyptian hieroglyphs typical of the Graeco-Roman period.

Etymology[edit]

First attested around 1598, a back-formation from hieroglyphic (1580s), from Middle French hiéroglyphique, from Late Latin hieroglyphicus, from Ancient Greek ἱερογλυφικός (hierogluphikós) (Plutarch τά ἱερογλυφικά [γράμματα] "hieroglyphic [writing]), ἱερόγλυφος (hierógluphos, carver of hieroglyphs) (Ptolemy), a compound of ἱερός (hierós, sacred, holy) and γλύφη (glúphē, carved work), a calque of Egyptian mdw nṯr (the god’s word),
nTr md
.[1]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈhaɪɹəˌɡlɪf/

Noun[edit]

hieroglyph (plural hieroglyphs)

  1. An element of an ideographic (hieroglyphic) writing system.
  2. (informal) Any obscure or baffling symbol.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allen, James (2010) Middle Egyptian: An Introduction to the Language and Culture of Hieroglyphs, revised second edition, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-74144-6, pages 2, 177