adjective \ˈkrip-tik\

: difficult to understand : having or seeming to have a hidden meaning

Full Definition of CRYPTIC

:  secret, occult
a :  having or seeming to have a hidden or ambiguous meaning :  mysterious <cryptic messages>
b :  marked by an often perplexing brevity <cryptic marginal notes>
:  serving to conceal <cryptic coloration in animals>; also :  exhibiting cryptic coloration <cryptic animals>
:  not recognized <a cryptic infection>
:  employing cipher or code
cryp·ti·cal·ly \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of CRYPTIC

  1. His instructions were cryptic. He said only to wait until we felt certain the answer was clear.
  2. <puzzled by the cryptic e-mail message left on his computer>
  3. … his hectic characters either communicate in choppy or cryptic exchanges or rattle on in breathless recitations full of contradictions and asides. —Donna Seaman, Booklist, 15 Mar. 1994

Origin of CRYPTIC

Late Latin crypticus, from Greek kryptikos, from kryptos
First Known Use: circa 1638

Rhymes with CRYPTIC


adjective \ˈkrip-tik\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of CRYPTIC

: serving to conceal <cryptic coloration in animals>
: not recognized <a cryptic infection> <cryptic cases of lead poisoning>
cryp·ti·cal·ly \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb


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