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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Glyph \Glyph\ (gl[i^]f), n. [Gr. glyfh` carving, fr. gly`fein to carve: cf. F. glyphe. Cf. Cleave to split.]

  1. (Arch.) A sunken channel or groove, usually vertical. See Triglyph.

  2. (Arch[ae]ol.) A carved figure or character, incised or in relief; a carved pictograph; hence, a pictograph representing a form originally adopted for sculpture, whether carved or painted.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1727, "ornamental groove in architecture," from French glyphe (1701), from Greek glyphe "a carving," from glyphein "to hollow out, cut out with a knife, engrave, carve," from PIE root *gleubh- "to cut, slice" (cognates: Latin glubere "to peel, shell, strip," Old English cleofan "to cleave"). Meaning "sculpted mark or symbol" (as in hieroglyph) is from 1825.


n. 1 A figure carved in relief or incised, especially representing a sound, word, or idea. 2 Any non-verbal symbol that imparts information. 3 (anchor: en_noun_typography)(context typography computing English) A visual representation of a letter, character, or symbol, in a specific font and style. 4 (context architecture English) A vertical groove.


n. glyptic art in the form of a symbolic figure carved or incised in relief


In typography, a glyph is an elemental symbol within an agreed set of symbols, intended to represent a readable character for the purposes of writing. As such, glyphs are considered to be unique marks that collectively add up to the spelling of a word, or otherwise contribute to a specific meaning of what is written, with that meaning dependent on cultural and social usage.

For example, in most languages written in any variety of the Latin alphabet the dot on a lower-case i is not a glyph because it does not convey any distinction, and an i in which the dot has been accidentally omitted is still likely to be recognized correctly. In Turkish, however, it is a glyph because that language has two distinct versions of the letter i, with and without a dot.

In Japanese syllabaries, a number of the characters are made up of more than one separate mark, but in general these separate marks are not glyphs because they have no meaning by themselves. However, in some cases, additional marks fulfill the role of diacritics, to differentiate distinct characters. Such additional marks constitute glyphs.

In general, a diacritic is a glyph, even if (like a cedilla in French, the ogonek in several languages or the stroke on a Polish " Ł") it is contiguous with the rest of the character.

Some characters, such as " æ" in Icelandic and the " ß" in German, would probably be regarded as glyphs: they were originally ligatures but over time have become characters in their own right, and these languages treat them as separate letters. However, a ligature such as "ſi", which is treated in some typefaces as a single unit, is arguably not a glyph as this is just a quirk of the typeface, essentially an allographic feature, and includes more than one grapheme. In normal handwriting, even long words are often written "joined up", without the pen leaving the paper, and the form of each written letter will often vary depending on which letters precede and follow it, but that does not make the whole word into a single glyph.

Two or more glyphs which have the same significance, whether used interchangeably or chosen depending on context, are called allographs of each other.

Glyph (album)

Glyph is an album released by Floater in May 1995. Engineered and mixed by the Grammy-nominated Drew Canulette (Nirvana, Soundgarden, Neil Young). Glyph received a preliminary Grammy nomination in the category of Best Alternative Performance. The album was initially intended to be an EP featuring leftover songs that never made it onto the Sink album. Some of the tracks, such as The Sad Ballad of Danny Boy, The Face of Order, and Dead, were previously recorded on the Sink demo tape prior to the release of the Sink album. Later, though, additional tracks were added, blending the entire album into one complete, seamless audio experience. The hit single is " The Sad Ballad of Danny Boy" which received national radio play on Z Rock stations. The album is also the first time that Peter Cornett debuted a track featuring his vocals. Bottle would not be his last either, as he again appeared on the Acoustics album. Two versions of Glyph are known to exist. The first press, which had a very limited release, has the same artwork as on both albums, but the fonts appear to be a white Arial, with "Floater" and "Glyph" on the cover, and no title on the disc. The disc artwork matches the artwork found on the cover. The inside tray also has the same artwork as the cover. The fourth track "Silt" was renamed "Midnight Ride" when released on the second pressing, and was six seconds longer than "Midnight Ride". The second press, which is the most common, has a yellow/gold font and shows an Egyptian hieroglyph which represents rejoicing, support, or exaltation, the same is on the disc art. The inside tray art is different and has the glyph symbol with a different background than the original release. Some of the earlier releases of the second press of Glyph also included a paper flyer (the same size as the cover) inserted with the disc promoting the previous album Sink.

Glyph (disambiguation)

A glyph is an element of writing.

Glyph may also refer to:

  • Glyph (album), by Floater
  • Glyph (data visualization), an arrow or similar markers in scientific data visualization
  • Glyph (Transformers), a fictional character
  • Glyph Bitmap Distribution Format, a file format for fonts
  • Glyph Comics Award, a comics award
Glyph (data visualization)

In the context of data visualization, a glyph is any marker, such as an arrow or similar marking, used to specify part of a scientific visualization. This is a representation to visualize data where the data set is presented as a collection of visual objects. These visual objects are collectively called a Glyph.

Usage examples of "glyph".

The toggle must have been set for DNA mode, since the buttons were displaying the Neanderthal glyphs for adenine, guanine, thymine, and cytosine.

Iroy scanned the letter, running a hennaed thumbnail over the glyphs as he read.

There were signs of recent erasure and redraw- ing at many spots, and here and there little colored hiero- glyphs of mysterious import.

She cocked her arms and hands into the pose of an Egyptian hiero- glyph.

Blood sniffed around the stones, poked his muzzle toward the glyph, jerked away when Karn slapped him with the rod.

For a moment, he hoped that he had kithed ideoplasts wrongly, and so he stared at the glittering glyphs until his eyes burned and there could be no mistaking their meaning.

They bear a little box of orichalc covered with strange glyphs, and they would not tell me what was in it.

We had descended perhaps a hundred steps when we reached a door painted with a crimson teratoid sign that appeared to me to be a glyph from some tongue beyond the shores of Urth.

Their leader, a mighty orc almost twice as tall as the sort of tusker Alusair was used to slaying in the Stonelands, whose much-battered breastplate was studded with grinning human skulls, was grinning at her as one large, grubby finger rubbed along the glyphs of the largest tainted tree Alusair had yet seen.

The hidden panel leading to the stairs up to his rooms appeared untampered with from the outside but opening it, he found that the warding glyph at the base of the stairs had been tripped.

I can translate the ancient Vindo and Tentur glyphs, given access to my books.

On the job, where hardcopy now-do-this instructions were of essence, boppers used zeroes-and-ones machine language supplemented by a high-speed metalanguage of glyphs and macros.

Lucien has been taught the glyph of a profiled wheelchair with an enormous bone-crossed skull below.

It was bound about with bands of red gold and dark steel, incised with ancient Valyrian glyphs that seemed to glow redly as the sound swelled.

Her lithe muscular body bore the magical marks of ritual scarification, patterning her exquisite golden skin into complex silver and blue whorls and glyphs.