pet·​ro·​glyph ˈpe-trə-ˌglif How to pronounce petroglyph (audio)
: a carving or inscription on a rock

Examples of petroglyph in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web From animals and bird tracks to handprints and footprints, the petroglyphs are one of the most significant archaeological sites in the South. Katie Strasberg Rousso, Southern Living, 9 Oct. 2023 The petroglyphs including depictions of animals and other natural objects are located on the shores of Rio Negro, at an archeological site known as the Ponto das Lajes–Place of Slabs– near where the Rio Negro and the Solimões river flow into the Amazon River. Laura Baisas, Popular Science, 25 Oct. 2023 Those areas include petroglyphs dating back some 200 years, North America’s largest sand dunes and migration corridors in the Red Desert for bighorn sheep, mule deer and elk. Lisa Friedman, New York Times, 26 Oct. 2023 Along the way, travelers pass elaborate dwellings carved into the cliffs, underground kivas, and petroglyphs that were etched into the rock thousands of years ago. Evie Carrick, Travel + Leisure, 22 July 2023 Some of those projects were headed toward fruition when Feinstein in 2009 announced plans to introduce bills to establish national monuments on roughly 1 million acres of public lands that are home to bighorn sheep, desert tortoises, extinct volcanoes, sand dunes and ancient petroglyphs. Louis Sahagún, Los Angeles Times, 30 Sep. 2023 Big Spring Cave is a prehistoric Amerindian ceremonial site that dates back to 600 A.D. and showcases many anthropomorphic petroglyphs alongside freshwater springs. Lindsay Cohn, Travel + Leisure, 26 Sep. 2023 But what draws people to Mouse’s Tank today are the ancient petroglyphs that have been etched into the canyon’s sandstone walls. Hazlitt, 2 Aug. 2023 These archaeological sites, which include cliff dwellings, sandstone homes, and petroglyphs, dot the state, offering a reminder of the people who came before. Evie Carrick, Travel + Leisure, 21 Apr. 2023 See More

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

Word History


petro- + glyph, probably after hieroglyph

First Known Use

1854, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of petroglyph was in 1854

Dictionary Entries Near petroglyph

Cite this Entry

“Petroglyph.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

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