hi·​ero·​glyph | \ ˈhī-(ə-)rə-ˌglif How to pronounce hieroglyph (audio) \

Definition of hieroglyph

1 : a character used in a system of hieroglyphic writing
2 : something that resembles a hieroglyph

Examples of hieroglyph in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web A few years ago, after a visit to Teotihuacán, the members of the band Iron Maiden got a scholar to translate their song titles into a Mayan language called Yucatec and had the hieroglyphs printed on the tail fin of their 747. Lauren Collins, The New Yorker, "At the British Library, Writing Is a Work of Art," 29 July 2019 The scientists looked at physical evidence to test the hieroglyph's claims of the city having been burned. Fox News, "Ancient Mayan city burned in 'act of total war,' scientists say," 5 Aug. 2019 In the first century, hieroglyphs were a mystery and were left untouched by early Christians even when stripping old gods of power, as seen here in examples of kneeling temple statuary. Edward Rothstein, WSJ, "‘Striking Power: Iconoclasm in Ancient Egypt’ Review: Editing the Image," 17 June 2019 They were inspired by Stephen Bax, a linguistics professor at the University of Bedfordshire who in 2014 published research claiming to have partially solved the language riddle using methods that deciphered Egyptian hieroglyphs. John Woolfolk, The Mercury News, "Voynich Manuscript: Did Bay Area researchers decipher mysterious medieval book?," 12 July 2019 Gradually, your new world will fill up with dancing silhouettes and animals, which all coalesce to form a main hieroglyph that will unlock a portal to space. Michael Simon, PCWorld, "Childish Gambino’s Pharos AR app unlocks a hidden universe of battery-draining beats and beasts," 24 Apr. 2019 Accompanying the text were many otherworldly maps, hieroglyphs and illustrations. Sam Kestenbaum, New York Times, "A Forgotten Religion Gets a Second Chance in Brooklyn," 7 June 2018 The replicas of the Madrid and Dresden codices are poignant — there are only four known Mayan hieroglyph books that survived the Spanish, who ordered the burning of all of the Mayan books in the 1500s. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Maya exhibit featuring 300 artifacts opens at Milwaukee Public Museum," 16 Feb. 2018 Traces of hieroglyphs above the figure’s head use female pronouns, which also helped the confirm that the image was a female pharaoh. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Rare Image of Early Female Pharaoh Found in University Collection," 26 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hieroglyph.' 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 hieroglyph

1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for hieroglyph

French hiéroglyphe, from Middle French, back-formation from hieroglyphique

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Time Traveler for hieroglyph

Time Traveler

The first known use of hieroglyph was in 1598

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Cite this Entry

“Hieroglyph.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hieroglyph. Accessed 6 December 2019.

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How to pronounce hieroglyph (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of hieroglyph

: a written character that looks like a picture : a character used in hieroglyphics

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More from Merriam-Webster on hieroglyph

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hieroglyph

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hieroglyph

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hieroglyph

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