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, from Middle French hiéroglyphique, from Late Latin hieroglyphicus, from Ancient Greek ἱερογλυφικός (hierogluphikós), derivative of ἱερόγλυφος (hierógluphos, carver of hieroglyphs), compound of ἱερός (hierós, sacred, holy) and γλύφη (glúphē, carved work), a translation of Egyptian 𓊹𓌃 (mdw-nṯr, the god's words).

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.

Translations[edit]

Derived terms[edit]