\ 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

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 On the back is an engraving of the sign's universal glyph, housed by its elemental symbol. Joseph Deacetis, Forbes, 7 Dec. 2021 The glyph has been interpreted a number of ways, including a composite map of space and a numerical calendar, a planting guide, a map of travels and a story about a great leader. Leah Hogsten, The Salt Lake Tribune, 27 Mar. 2021 Perhaps this was the most integral factor to piggybacking an entire legalization movement off a lowly, three-number glyph, affording enthusiasts a specific time to meetup, and potentially organize. Zoe Wilder, Rolling Stone, 19 Apr. 2021 The Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah believes the glyph depicts the story of a migration where many people experienced famine, drought, water crossings, cold, ice and hot sun and of a great Leader. Leah Hogsten, The Salt Lake Tribune, 27 Mar. 2021 But the rest of the glyph’s anatomy was more mysterious, reports Hannah Osborne for Newsweek. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, 19 Mar. 2020 Your glyph on a colored background is about to get some serious visual competition. Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, 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, 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, 27 Feb. 2020

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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Last Updated

19 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Glyph.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jan. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on glyph

Nglish: Translation of glyph for Spanish Speakers


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