Hieroglyphic

   Modern term derived from the Greek word used to describe the standard form of Egyptian writing to express the Egyptian language. The earliest forms appear at the end of the Predynastic Period and the Early Dynastic Period, but the script does not become fully intelligible until the Old Kingdom. The writing consists of two types of signs: phonograms that represent single consonants or consonantal clusters (biliterals or triliterals) and ideograms that indicate the sense of the word, usually written at the end of the word to reinforce the meaning. The basic consonantal alphabet consists of 24 signs; vowels were not written. Hieroglyphic writing was soon replaced by hieraticfor ordinary usage, and the hieroglyphic script was reserved for monumental work in stone or paint and for religious texts. The script was deciphered in modern times by Jean-Francois Champollion, building on the work of Thomas Young, with the help of bilingual texts such as the Rosetta Stone. The subsequent realization that Coptic was a later form of the same language immeasurably aided the understanding of ancient Egyptian texts.
   See also Demotic.
Historical Dictionary Of Ancient Egypt by Morris L. Bierbrier

Ancient Egypt. A Reference Guide. . 2011.

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  • Hieroglyphic — Hi er*o*glyph ic, Hieroglyphical Hi er*o*glyph ic*al, a. [L. hieroglyphicus, Gr. ?; iero s sacred + gly fein to carve: cf. F. hi[ e]roglyphique.] [1913 Webster] 1. Emblematic; expressive of some meaning by characters, pictures, or figures; as,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • hieroglyphic — 1580s (adj. and n.), from L.L. hieroglyphicus, from Gk. hieroglyphikos hieroglyphic; of Egyptian writing, from hieros sacred (see IRE (Cf. ire)) + glyphe carving, from glyphein to carve (see GLYPH (Cf. glyph)). Plutarch began the custom of using… …   Etymology dictionary

  • hieroglyphic — index hidden Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • hieroglyphic — ► NOUN (hieroglyphics) ▪ writing consisting of hieroglyphs. ► ADJECTIVE ▪ of or written in hieroglyphs. DERIVATIVES hieroglyphical adjective. ORIGIN Greek hierogluphikos, from hieros sacred + gluph carving …   English terms dictionary

  • hieroglyphic — [hī΄ər ō΄glif′ik, hī΄rə glif′ik] adj. [Fr hiéroglyphique < LL hieroglyphicus < Gr hieroglyphikos < hieros, sacred (see HIERO ) + glyphein, to carve, hollow out: see GLYPH] 1. of, or having the nature of, hieroglyphics 2. written in… …   English World dictionary

  • Hieroglyphic — Hieroglyph Hi er*o*glyph, Hieroglyphic Hi er*o*glyph ic, n. [Cf. F. hi[ e]roglyphe. See {Hieroglyphic}, a.] [1913 Webster] 1. A sacred character; a character used in picture writing, as of the ancient Egyptians, Mexicans, etc. Specifically, in… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • hieroglyphic — I. adjective also hieroglyphical Etymology: Middle French hieroglyphique, from Late Latin hieroglyphicus, from Greek hieroglyphikos, from hieros + glyphein to carve more at cleave Date: 1585 1. written in, constituting, or belonging to a system… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • hieroglyphic — hieroglyphically, adv. /huy euhr euh glif ik, huy reuh /, adj. 1. Also, hieroglyphical. 2. designating or pertaining to a pictographic script, particularly that of the ancient Egyptians, in which many of the symbols are conventionalized,… …   Universalium

  • hieroglyphic — hi•er•o•glyph•ic [[t]ˌhaɪ ər əˈglɪf ɪk, ˌhaɪ rə [/t]] adj. Also, hi er•o•glyph′i•cal. 1) ling. of or designating a pictographic script, as that of the ancient Egyptians, in which many of the symbols are conventionalized pictures of the things… …   From formal English to slang

  • hieroglyphic — /haɪərəˈglɪfɪk / (say huyuhruh glifik) adjective Also, hieroglyphical. 1. designating or relating to a writing system, particularly that of the ancient Egyptians, in which many of the symbols are conventionalised pictures of the things they stand …   Australian English dictionary

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