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hieroglyph

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hieroglyph


  2  definitions  found 
 
  From  Webster's  Revised  Unabridged  Dictionary  (1913)  [web1913]: 
 
  Hieroglyph  \Hi"er*o*glyph\,  Hieroglyphic  \Hi`er*o*glyph"ic\,  n. 
  [Cf.  F.  hi['e]roglyphe.  See  {Hieroglyphic},  a.] 
  1.  A  sacred  character;  a  character  in  picture  writing,  as  of 
  the  ancient  Egyptians,  Mexicans,  etc  Specifically,  in  the 
  plural,  the  picture  writing  of  the  ancient  Egyptian 
  priests.  It  is  made  up  of  three  or  as  some  say  four 
  classes  of  characters:  first  the  hieroglyphic  proper,  or 
  figurative,  in  which  the  representation  of  the  object 
  conveys  the  idea  of  the  object  itself  second  the 
  ideographic,  consisting  of  symbols  representing  ideas,  not 
  sounds,  as  an  ostrich  feather  is  a  symbol  of  truth;  third 
  the  phonetic,  consisting  of  symbols  employed  as  syllables 
  of  a  word  or  as  letters  of  the  alphabet,  having  a  certain 
  sound,  as  a  hawk  represented  the  vowel  a. 
 
  2.  Any  character  or  figure  which  has  or  is  supposed  to  have 
  a  hidden  or  mysterious  significance;  hence  any 
  unintelligible  or  illegible  character  or  mark.  [Colloq.] 
 
  From  WordNet  r  1.6  [wn]: 
 
  hieroglyph 
  n  1:  writing  that  resembles  hieroglyphics  (usually  by  being 
  illegible)  [syn:  {hieroglyphic}] 
  2:  a  writing  system  using  picture  symbols;  used  in  ancient 
  Egypt  [syn:  {hieroglyphic}] 




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