hi·​ero·​glyph ˈhī-(ə-)rə-ˌglif How to pronounce hieroglyph (audio)
: a character used in a system of hieroglyphic writing
: something that resembles a hieroglyph

Examples of hieroglyph in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The etchings, comparable to Egyptian hieroglyphs, have been subject to various interpretations over the past centuries. Brendan Rascius, Miami Herald, 8 May 2024 Emojis are the hieroglyphs of the future, heralding a new era beyond the alphabet. Miles Klee, Rolling Stone, 8 Apr. 2024 One of the most famous archaeological finds in history, the stone slab allowed scholars to decipher hieroglyphs for the first time, presenting the same statement in hieroglyphic script, Demotic and ancient Greek. Kate McMahon, Smithsonian Magazine, 3 Apr. 2024 Screaming in hieroglyphs, tearing space open, barfing lava and pissing neon. Jonathan Rowe, SPIN, 23 Jan. 2024 Archaeologists have also found Egyptian hieroglyphs carved into the tomb of Pharaoh Seth-Peribsen that date to around the same historical period. Lucy Tu, Scientific American, 24 Aug. 2023 These symbols, really hieroglyphs, appeared on posts and bridge abutments, on fences and outbuildings. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, 24 Aug. 2023 Petroglyphs, unlike hieroglyphs, don’t always have a direct translation, but Davis said the markings at Broken Arrow Cave provide some insight into the Puebloans — abstract windows into their culture. Palak Jayswal, The Salt Lake Tribune, 14 Aug. 2023 Periodically, Banda opened the door of the jeep to decipher animal prints or dung, furrowing his brow like an archaeologist studying hieroglyphs. Tayari Jones, Travel + Leisure, 26 July 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hieroglyph.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of hieroglyph was in 1598

Dictionary Entries Near hieroglyph

Cite this Entry

“Hieroglyph.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hieroglyph. Accessed 26 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


hi·​ero·​glyph ˈhī-(ə-)rə-ˌglif How to pronounce hieroglyph (audio)
: a character used in hieroglyphic writing

More from Merriam-Webster on hieroglyph

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