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hieratic

2 definitions found

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

Hieratic \Hi'er*at"ic\, adjective [L. hieraticus, Gr. "ieratiko's; akin to "iero's sacred: cf. F. hi['e]ratique.] Consecrated to sacred uses; sacerdotal; pertaining to priests.

{Hieratic character}, a mode of ancient Egyptian writing; a modified form of hieroglyphics, tending toward a cursive hand and formerly supposed to be the sacerdotal character, as the demotic was supposed to be that of the people.

It was a false notion of the Greeks that of the three kinds of writing used by the Egyptians, two -- for that reason called hieroglyphic and hieratic -- were employed only for sacred, while the third, the demotic, was employed for secular, purposes. No such distinction is discoverable on the more ancient Egyptian monuments; bur we retain the old names founded on misapprehension. --W. H. Ward (Johnson's Cyc.).

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) [wn]:

hieratic

adjective

1: associated with the priesthood or priests; "priestly (or sacerdotal) vestments"; "hieratic gestures" [syn: {priestly}, {hieratic}, {hieratical}, {sacerdotal}]

2: written or belonging to a cursive form of ancient Egyptian writing; "hieratic Egyptian script"

3: adhering to fixed types or methods; highly restrained and formal; "the more hieratic sculptures leave the viewer curiously unmoved"

noun

1: a cursive form of Egyptian hieroglyphics; used especially by the priests [syn: {hieratic}, {hieratic script}]


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