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illustration Glyph



Part of speech: noun

Origin: French, 18th century


A small graphic symbol.


Strictly, a sculptured symbol (e.g., as forming the ancient Mayan writing system).

Examples of Glyph in a sentence

"Each page of the manuscript was marked by a glyph in lieu of numbering."

"For a few years in the 1990s, Prince changed his name to an unpronounceable glyph, and he was referred to as “the Artist Formerly Known as Prince.”"

About Glyph

“Glyph” entered English from the French word “glyphe,” which was based on the Greek “γλυφή” (“gluphḗ,” meaning “carving”).

Did you Know?

The glyphs most people are familiar with are hieroglyphs, systems of pictorial writing associated with ancient civilizations, such as the Maya and the Egyptians. However, in the modern world, “glyph” can describe any pictorial symbol used to communicate. For example, corporate logos are glyphs, as are the public signs to indicate the locations of restrooms, restaurants, gas stations, and hospitals. But glyphs can be used in a variety of ways, such as during the earliest days of Wi-Fi technology, when some users would chalk glyphs on the sidewalk near Wi-Fi hot spots to help other users identify locations where they could access the internet.

illustration Glyph

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