hi·​ero·​glyph | \ˈhī-(ə-)rə-ˌglif \

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

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 Five hours of special programming will unfold on Saturday, including workshops on mummy-making, an Egyptian hieroglyph class, and an instructional belly-dance session. Philly.com, "DJ Khaled, a tribute to the Beatles, Wine Pong and other things to do in Philadelphia March 23-30," 21 Mar. 2018 At Thebes, in the tomb of the Valley of the Kings, He was depicted in a hieroglyph, his forelegs gently tethered By two slaves with a green monkey clinging to his neck like a child Just along for the ride. Connie Bruck, The New Yorker, "Giraffe," 14 Mar. 2018 Olsson added, his various tattoos including Viking hieroglyphs, squares, and a lion, visible beneath a black Calvin Klein T-shirt. Emilia Petrarca, The Cut, "Has This 35-Year-Old Swedish Man Figured Out the Future of Fashion?," 20 Dec. 2017 The advertisements alone are like hieroglyphs: endless full pages selling elephantine audio equipment, brands of beer, cigarettes, fountain pens. Josephine Livingstone, New Republic, "Hugh Hefner Was Never The Star of Playboy," 29 Sep. 2017 Emojis might be connected in some respects to Egyptian hieroglyphs or Chinese ideograms. Crispin Sartwell, WSJ, "Texting and Twitter Make This a Golden Age for the Written Word," 22 Sep. 2017

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about hieroglyph

Share hieroglyph

Statistics for hieroglyph

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hieroglyph

The first known use of hieroglyph was in 1598

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for hieroglyph



English Language Learners Definition of hieroglyph

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

More from Merriam-Webster on hieroglyph

See words that rhyme with hieroglyph

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hieroglyph

Comments on hieroglyph

What made you want to look up hieroglyph? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!