Definition of Rosetta Stone in US English:

Rosetta Stone

proper noun

  • 1An inscribed stone found near Rosetta on the western mouth of the Nile in 1799. Its text is written in three scripts: hieroglyphic, demotic, and Greek. The deciphering of the hieroglyphs by Jean-François Champollion in 1822 led to the interpretation of many other early records of Egyptian civilization.

    1. 1.1as noun a Rosetta stone A key to some previously undecipherable mystery or unattainable knowledge.
      ‘zero point energy could be the Rosetta stone of physics’
      • ‘If you go to see the Rosetta stone, you have to get permission to sketch it.’
      • ‘Gaghan and I would remind ourselves every time we went through the script that the issue of control was our Rosetta stone.’
      • ‘If there is a Rosetta stone for deciphering Edwards' bold decision to seek the presidency and abandon the Senate after a single term on Capitol Hill, it is embedded in the way he has reacted to his son's death.’
      • ‘I have compared forensic work to an operational Rosetta stone, wherein differing languages might be translated back and forth.’
      • ‘On a table in his office, Pandit keeps a replica of the Rosetta stone, the key that enabled archaeologists finally to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphs.’
      • ‘Perhaps I should tell you the Rosetta stone of my personality.’
      • ‘The Rosetta disk expands on the parallel text structure of the original Rosetta stone by archiving five distinct linguistic components for each language on the disk.’
      • ‘The stone with the Germanic inscriptions was to be their Rosetta stone.’
      • ‘Since the discovery of the Rosetta stone Egyptian history has literally been spelled out for us.’
      • ‘The Rosetta stone, sculptures from the Parthenon and the Portland Vase are included in this museum.’
      • ‘The similar values may be a Rosetta stone that will serve to allow a common language to emerge regardless of where either group is, or is perceived to be, on the political spectrum.’
      • ‘As difficult as the encryption was, the engineer somehow felt that the Rosetta stone of the code would be something simple, if he could just determine what it was.’
      • ‘This little pot became the Rosetta stone for the identification of Gerverot's work.’
      • ‘It was a Rosetta stone that I would continually go back to when multiple issues from disparate groups clamored for priority.’
      • ‘It would have been a Rosetta stone in the right hands, but to him it was just another piece of possibly valuable scrap.’
      • ‘The British Museum has one of the largest and best archeological collections of worldwide artifacts, including the Rosetta stone and Lindow Man.’
      • ‘Since this example provides a clear indication that the tokens were ‘used for bookkeeping’, Schmandt-Besserat characterizes it as ‘the Rosetta stone of the token system’.’
      • ‘I made it to the museum, but the Rosetta stone was in some temporary exhibition which cost $5 to get in, so I didn't bother.’
      • ‘It's a little more of an addition, but I wouldn't say it is the Rosetta stone.’


Rosetta Stone

/rōˌzedə ˈstōn/