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 The rock carvings, which archaeologists call petroglyphs, are at a site called Serrote do Letreiro in Paraíba, an agricultural state on the eastern tip of Brazil. Jacopo Prisco, CNN, 11 Apr. 2024 Because the color of the carvings, or petroglyphs, are uniform and spaced, the researchers believe the piece of art was planned before the carving began. Irene Wright, Miami Herald, 5 Apr. 2024 Since 2005, more than 200,000 acres have burned in and around the Mojave National Preserve; fires have destroyed lush pinyon pine and juniper woodlands, desert tortoise habitat and ancient petroglyphs. Alex Wigglesworth, Los Angeles Times, 19 Mar. 2024 Similarly, in the southwestern United States, many rock carvings known as petroglyphs show what appear to be sun-like symbols. Dan Falk, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 Mar. 2024 In the past, the BLM discovered that target shooting has significantly damaged objects within the monument, including saguaros and Native American petroglyphs. Madeline Nguyen, The Arizona Republic, 20 Jan. 2024 Cultural artifacts nearby, including petroglyphs and fishponds, speak to the legacy of Hawaiian royalty, like King Kamehameha I, who spent time in the Kona area. Robb Report Studio, Robb Report, 18 Dec. 2023 Fjeld found his first petroglyph in 2016, and he’s been tracking down carvings in his free time ever since. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, 26 Dec. 2023 Most of the island is protected as part of the Virgin Islands National Park, hiding white-sand beaches, underwater snorkeling trails, and even age-old petroglyphs among miles of hiking trails and unforgettable scenery. Carley Rojas Avila, Travel + Leisure, 27 Nov. 2023

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 27 May. 2024.

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