Definition - A graphic symbol standing for a sound, syllable, or some other thing that is used in writing or printing to represent it.

1. In typography, a glyph is the shape that a particular typeface gives to a particular symbol, and a character is the abstraction that the glyph represents.

Example -
This a is this typeface's glyph for the abstract character that English speakers call lower-case a.

Etymology -
The term derives via French and Latin from the Greek kharakter, engraved mark (from kharassein, to engrave). The Greek word, in turn, derives from kharax, pointed stake. Note that the word glyph derives from a Greek word that means "carving." Thus, Greek-etymology-wise, glyphs are carvings and characters are engravings.

Oxford English Dictionary -
Its first citation in this sense is from 1490:
"The Fenyces were the fyrst inuentours of caracteris dyfferencing that one fro that other, of whiche were fourmed lettres for to write."
(Caxton Eneydos vi. 25 )

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