Hieroglyph (in greek - ερογλύφος - from ερός – sacred and γλύφειν – carved writing) is the title of a written symbol in some systems of writing.
Hieroglyphs can denote separate sounds and phrases (elements of alphabet and syllabic writing) as well as morphemes and whole concepts and words (ideograms).
Originally the term “hieroglyph” was used for ancient Egyptian writing where elements of ideographic, syllabic, and phonetic (aerophonetic) writing combined.
Now the term is applied to characterize Chinese symbols of writing and symbols of kandzi and kokudzi in Japanese (they are used in combination with kana-systems – katakana and hirogana), symbols of Hancha in Korean and writings of several Butana districts (Trashi Yangtse-kha). Hieroglyphic systems of the second are derived from Chinese hieroglyphic writing. The traits of Chinese hieroglyphic writing is using combined hieroglyphs that is a composition of ideograms. Hieroglyphs of the dead maya language are known as well.