Definition - The shape that a particular typeface gives to a particular symbol.

1. In contrast, a character is the abstraction that the glyph visually represents. Thus this a is this typeface's glyph for the character that English speakers call "the letter a."

Etymology -
The word ultimately derives from the Greek glyphe, a carving (from glyphein, to engrave or carve). As the word character derives from the Greek kharassein, to engrave, Greek-etymology-wise, glyphs are carvings and characters are engravings.

Oxford English Dictionary -
Its first citation in the sense of "a symbol" is from 1825:
"They were originally symbolical glyphs or sculptures, and afterwards translated into words."
(Coleridge Aids Refl. (1848) I. 204)

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