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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Humans have hunted, farmed and lived in Glen Canyon for millennia, building multistory cliff dwellings, crafting intricate petroglyph and pictograph panels, and leaving the remains of irrigation systems. Zak Podmore, The Salt Lake Tribune, 24 Oct. 2022 When someone creates a petroglyph, the engraving removes a thin, dark layer of minerals and other materials that built up on the surface of the rock over centuries. Leslie Nemo, Discover Magazine, 7 Mar. 2021 Two more petroglyph tiles are cast rogue from the rest, set into the floor of a lanai, beneath a round glass table where the Charlots often relaxed. Matthew Dekneef Mariko Reed, New York Times, 9 Aug. 2022 Then, a petroglyph of a large robed figure with large ears surrounded by seven runes is shown, followed by one of a long-haired character with an eye reminiscent of the Eye Symbol of the Legend of Zelda’s Sheikah tribe. Jonathan Lee, Washington Post, 13 Sep. 2022 Walker cleaned it and discovered a petroglyph carved by an ancient ancestor — the first ever found there. Travel + Leisure, 15 Mar. 2022 Some of the damage is irreversible, though, because removing the spray paint or scratches would further damage the petroglyph underneath. Gina Rae La Cerva, Outside Online, 1 Feb. 2022 Certain mountains, springs, trees or petroglyph sites have always been sacred spaces for Native peoples — like churches or temples in other religions. Alison Steinbach, The Arizona Republic, 4 May 2018 There are about 12 notable petroglyph sites in Qatar, located mostly along the country's coasts -- though some carvings can even be seen in the heart of Doha's Al Bidda Par, overlooking the Corniche, a popular waterfront promenade. Dimitris Sideridis, CNN, 22 Nov. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'petroglyph.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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 22 Mar. 2023.

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