cryp·​sis | \ ˈkrip-səs How to pronounce crypsis (audio) \

Definition of crypsis

: the ability of an organism to conceal itself especially from a predator by having a color, pattern, and shape that allows it to blend into the surrounding environment Horned lizards have a delightful variety of defenses. Their primary defense is crypsis; their pattern of coloration varies geographically to match the substrate, and their spines obscure their body outlines, making them difficult to see.— Jeff Mitton … legions of tiny fish and shrimps have evolved to live with impunity among these coral tentacles, escaping predators' notice by resembling their hosts, a feat called crypsis.— Les Kaufman

First Known Use of crypsis

1956, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for crypsis

cryp(tic) + -sis, or borrowed from Greek krýpsis "hiding, concealment," from kryp- (stem of krýptein "to hide, conceal") + -sis -sis — more at crypt

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Time Traveler for crypsis

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The first known use of crypsis was in 1956

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Cite this Entry

“Crypsis.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 23 January 2020.

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out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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