\ 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 glyph (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 But the rest of the glyph’s anatomy was more mysterious, reports Hannah Osborne for Newsweek. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Possible Half-Human, Half-Praying-Mantis Carving Found on Ancient Rocks," 19 Mar. 2020 Your glyph on a colored background is about to get some serious visual competition. Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, "The strange and sudden collision of tech and drug research," 6 July 2020 For the time being, the researchers remain unsure as to why the creature would have been deemed important enough to record in a glyph. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, "Investigating an Ancient Mystery: What Is the 'Mantis-Man'?," 18 Mar. 2020 Images of birds of prey with atlatls—the key elements of the glyph the Maya used to write Spearthrower Owl’s name—show up around Teotihuacan for centuries, far longer than any single person could have ruled. Lizzie Wade, Science | AAAS, "‘Astounding new finds’ suggest ancient empire may be hiding in plain sight," 27 Feb. 2020 Between 2017 and 2018, researchers happened upon the five-and-a-half-inch glyph that depicts what looks like a praying mantis with circles at the end of its limbs. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, "Investigating an Ancient Mystery: What Is the 'Mantis-Man'?," 18 Mar. 2020 There’s a certain corniness to the whole sci-fi setup, One’s journey in the glyph. Elisa Gabbert, New York Times, "In Defense of Poetic Nonsense, With a Character Who Shares Your Frustration," 3 Mar. 2020 The numbers and glyphs frame his face in a perfect metaphor for the impossibly complex ideas that play out in his head, then somehow emerge comprehensibly and coherently on the page. Jeffrey Kluger, Time, "String Theorist Brian Greene Wants to Help You Understand the Cold, Cruel Universe," 20 Feb. 2020 Within some codices, such glyphs are accompanied by dates. National Geographic, "Ancient Aztec records reveal hidden earthquake risk," 11 Oct. 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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Cite this Entry

“Glyph.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for glyph

Nglish: Translation of glyph for Spanish Speakers

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