Latin hieraticus, from Ancient Greek ἱερατικός (hieratikos), from ἱερατεία (hierateia, “priesthood”), from ἱερᾶτεύω (hierateuō, “be a priest”), from ἱερεύς (hiereus, “priest”), from ἱερός (hieros, “sacred”).
- Use pertaining to the Egyptian writing system originates with the Greek phrase γράμματα ἱερατικά (grammata hieratika; literally "priestly writing"), which was first used by Saint Clement of Alexandria in the 2nd century AD, as at that time hieratic was used only for religious texts, as had been the case for the previous thousand years.
hieratic (not comparable)
- of or pertaining to priests, especially pharaonic priests of ancient Egypt; sacerdotal.
- of or pertaining to the cursive writing system developed by ancient Egyptian priests alongside the hieroglyphic system.
- (said of a work of art, literature, etc.) extremely stylized, restrained or formal; adhering to fixed types or methods; severe in emotional import.
- Some of the more hieratic sculptures leave the viewer curiously unmoved.
hieratic (plural hieratics)