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hieratic

[hahy-uh-rat-ik, hahy-rat-] /ˌhaɪ əˈræt ɪk, haɪˈræt-/
adjective
1.
Also, hieratical. of or pertaining to priests or the priesthood; sacerdotal; priestly.
2.
noting or pertaining to a form of ancient Egyptian writing consisting of abridged forms of hieroglyphics, used by the priests in their records.
3.
noting or pertaining to certain styles in art in which the representations or methods are fixed by or as if by religious tradition.
4.
highly restrained or severe in emotional import:
Some of the more hieratic sculptures leave the viewer curiously unmoved.
noun
5.
ancient Egyptian hieratic writing.
Origin
1650-1660
1650-60; < Latin hierāticus < Greek hierātikós pertaining to the priesthood, priestly, equivalent to hierā-, variant stem of hierâsthai to perform priestly functions (verbal derivative of hierós sacred; see hiero-) + -ikos -ic, with -t- by analogy with derivatives from agent nouns in -tēs (cf. athlete, athletic)
Related forms
hieratically, adverb
nonhieratic, adjective
nonhieratical, adjective
nonhieratically, adverb
unhieratic, adjective
unhieratical, adjective
unhieratically, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for hieratic
  • The acting is heavy and hieratic, fogged with a pretentious mysticism.
  • They are seen, as it were, in a fixed hieratic stance.
British Dictionary definitions for hieratic

hieratic

/ˌhaɪəˈrætɪk/
adjective
1.
of or relating to priests
2.
of or relating to a cursive form of hieroglyphics used by priests in ancient Egypt
3.
of or relating to styles in art that adhere to certain fixed types or methods, as in ancient Egypt
noun
4.
the hieratic script of ancient Egypt
Derived Forms
hieratically, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Latin hierāticus, from Greek hieratikos, from hiereus a priest, from hieros holy
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hieratic
adj.

"pertaining to sacred things," 1650s (implied in hieratical), from Latin hieraticus, from Greek hieratikos "pertaining to a priest or his office, priestly," from hierateia "priesthood," from hiereus "priest," from hieros "sacred, holy, hallowed; superhuman, mighty; divine" (see ire).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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