\ ˈglif How to pronounce glyph (audio) \

Definition of glyph

1 : an ornamental vertical groove especially in a Doric frieze
2 : a symbolic figure or a character (as in the Mayan system of writing) usually incised or carved in relief
3 : a symbol (such as a curved arrow on a road sign) that conveys information nonverbally

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Other Words from glyph

glyphic \ ˈgli-​fik How to pronounce glyphic (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for glyph


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Examples of glyph in a Sentence

a rock inscribed with mysterious glyphs that some have speculated as being of Norse origin
Recent Examples on the Web When placed on top of a layered earth glyph, this symbol signifies moving ground—aka, an earthquake. National Geographic, "Ancient Aztec records reveal hidden earthquake risk," 11 Oct. 2019 Finding the new glyph proved difficult even with Watson’s help. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Archaeologists Identify 143 New Nazca Lines," 11 Dec. 2014 In the 2011 series that gives this show its title, the glyphs are ribs of a central spine and stand on a field split between two blocks of gently contrasting pastels. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, "In the galleries: Exhibits ‘Of This World’ and beyond," 22 Nov. 2019 Researchers from Japan’s Yamagata University discovered 142 new glyphs. Fox News, "Mysterious 'humanoid' figures discovered in Peru," 19 Nov. 2019 In the conference room, his trademark glyph was etched into a long glass table. Dan Piepenbring, The New Yorker, "The Book of Prince," 2 Sep. 2019 Some of these codices include a glyph that resembles a propeller-like object which has long been understood to represent movement. National Geographic, "Ancient Aztec records reveal hidden earthquake risk," 11 Oct. 2019 Tom Green writes aqua glyphs on two shades of brown, Mira Hecht arrays circles and figure-eights, Carol Brown Goldberg interlocks repeated patterns and Dan Treado splits vine-like forms across a two-part composition. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, "In the galleries: Artechouse’s ‘Infinite Space’ has waves of natural influences," 9 Aug. 2019 The tall cylinder that held its machinery was painted pink and green and adorned with cubist faces, floating eyes and geometric glyphs. John Kelly, Washington Post, "A massive mural in an underground District tunnel is finally seeing the light," 23 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'glyph.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of glyph

1775, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for glyph

Greek glyphē carved work, from glyphein to carve — more at cleave

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Time Traveler for glyph

Time Traveler

The first known use of glyph was in 1775

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Statistics for glyph

Last Updated

29 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Glyph.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 January 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on glyph

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for glyph

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with glyph

Nglish: Translation of glyph for Spanish Speakers

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