hi·er·o·glyph·ic (hī′ər-ə-glĭfĭk, hī′rə-) also hi·er·o·glyph·i·cal (-ĭ-kəl)
a. Of, relating to, or being a system of writing, such as that of ancient Egypt, in which pictorial symbols are used to represent meaning or sounds or a combination of meaning and sound.
b. Written with such symbols.
2. Difficult to read or decipher.
a. A hieroglyph.
b. often hieroglyphics (used with a sing. or pl. verb) Hieroglyphic writing, especially that of the ancient Egyptians.
2. Something, such as illegible or undecipherable writing, that is felt to resemble a hieroglyph.
[French hiéroglyphique, from Late Latin hieroglyphicus, from Greek hierogluphikos : hieros, holy; see eis- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots + gluphē, carving (from gluphein, to carve; see gleubh- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots).]
(click for a larger image)hieroglyphic
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
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