Also, hieroglyphical. designating or pertaining to a pictographic script, particularly that of the ancient Egyptians, in which many of the symbols are conventionalized, recognizable pictures of the things represented.
inscribed with hieroglyphic symbols.
hard to decipher; hard to read.
Also, hieroglyph. a hieroglyphic symbol.
Usually, hieroglyphics. hieroglyphic writing.
a figure or symbol with a hidden meaning.
hieroglyphics, handwriting, figures, characters, code, etc., difficult to decipher:
the confusing hieroglyphics of advanced mathematics.
1590s, shortening of hieroglyphic (n.), 1590s; see hieroglyphic.
1580s (adj. and n.), from Late Latin hieroglyphicus, from Greek hieroglyphikos "hieroglyphic; of Egyptian writing," from hieros "sacred" (see ire) + glyphe "carving," from glyphein "to carve" (see glyph). Plutarch began the custom of using the adjective (ta hieroglyphika) as a noun.