Word of the Day Archive
Wednesday August 22, 2012
1. Highly restrained or severe in emotional import: Some of the more hieratic sculptures leave the viewer curiously unmoved.
2. Also, hi·er·at·i·cal. of or pertaining to priests or the priesthood; sacerdotal; priestly.
3. Noting or pertaining to a form of ancient Egyptian writing consisting of abridged forms of hieroglyphics, used by the priests in their records.
4. Noting or pertaining to certain styles in art in which the representations or methods are fixed by or as if by religious tradition.
1. Ancient Egyptian hieratic writing.
She raised her hands from the side of the pen in a gesture hieratic and profound.
-- Flannery O'Connor, Everything That Rises Must Converge
At first, in a hieratic performance, as if in slow motion, the king submitted with mournful joy, bowing his meek head.
-- Umberto Eco, Foucault's Pendulum
The silence here is even more overpowering. Lina is there, hieratic and pale. They approach the bed stealthily, as if fearful of waking a wildcat or a snake.
-- Laurent Binet, HHhH
Related to the word hierarchy, hieratic comes from the Greek word hierātikós meaning "priestly."