hieratic \hi`er*at"ic\ (?), a. [l. hieraticus, gr. &?;; akin to "iero`s sacred: cf. f. hiératique.] 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. h. ward (johnson's cyc.).
Hieratic (Greek hieratika; literally "priestly") is a cursive writing system used in the provenance of the pharaohs in Egypt and Nubia. It developed alongside cursive hieroglyphs, to which it is separate yet intimately related. It was primarily written in ink with a reed brush on papyrus, allowing scribes to write quickly without resorting to the time-consuming hieroglyphs.
Noun 1. a cursive form of Egyptian hieroglyphics; used especially by the priests (synonym) hieratic script (hypernym) hieroglyph, hieroglyphic Adjective 1. associated with the priesthood or priests; "priestly (or sacerdotal) vestments"; "hieratic gestures" (synonym) priestly, hieratical, sacerdotal (pertainym) priesthood 2. written or belonging to a cursive form of ancient Egyptian writing; "hieratic Egyptian script" (pertainym) hieratic script 3. adhering to fixed types or methods; highly restrained and formal; "the more hieratic sculptures leave the viewer curiously unmoved" (similar) nonrepresentational (classification) fine arts, beaux arts