enigmatic was our Word of the Day on 10/25/2012. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
Examples of enigmatic in a Sentence
- Space seethes with an enormous enigmatic energy, and, each second, trillions of cubic light-years more of it materializes from nothingness. —Bob Berman, Astronomy, November 2007
- You'll recognize them by their enigmatic smile and faraway look as they jog, skate, commute, or wander the aisles of the supermarket. —Consumer Reports, December 2005
- Despite all that has been written—and surmised—about him, Bill Gates remains the enigmatic ringmaster of the digital circus. —J. D. Reed, People, 15 Mar. 1999
the discovery of the abandoned ship in mid ocean remains one of the most enigmatic episodes in seafaring history
the Mona Lisa's enigmatic smile
Recent Examples of enigmatic from the Web
Carolina and Atlanta may seem flawed and enigmatic, but the Saints better not count on either team to fade as the second half of the 2017 season approaches.
The Detroit Lions held onto their enigmatic tight end at Tuesday's NFL trade deadline and let the afternoon pass with only making one minor roster move.
However, there is no evidence that da Vinci developed the enigmatic smile on purpose.
But shrouded in a kind of weird, enigmatic, veneer of some sort.
Anchored by Keough’s enigmatic and forceful performance, the first season was a fascinating but chilly exploration of a character rejecting every preconception of how women are supposed to feel and behave.
That emphasis on writing for writing’s sake and his obsessive sacred pursuit is fascinating and enigmatic.
That emphasis on writing for writing's sake and his obsessive sacred pursuit is fascinating and enigmatic.
An unrivaled discovery on the southern coast of Israel may enable archaeologists to finally unravel the origins of one of the most notorious and enigmatic peoples of the Hebrew Bible: the Philistines.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'enigmatic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
The Origin of enigmatic Isn't a Mystery
When it comes to things that aren't clearly understandable, you have a wide range of word choices, including dark, enigmatic, cryptic, and equivocal. Of these, dark is the most sinister, implying an imperfect or clouded revelation, often with ominous overtones. Enigmatic (which traces back to Greek ainissesthai, meaning "to speak in riddles") emphasizes a puzzling, mystifying quality, whereas cryptic implies a purposely concealed meaning. Equivocal is the best choice for language that is left open to differing interpretations with the intention of deceiving or evading.
Synonymsarcane, cryptic, deep, mysterious (also enigmatical), impenetrable, inscrutable, mystic, occult, uncanny
Antonymsaccessible, clear, nonambiguous, obvious, plain, unambiguous, unequivocal
Related Wordsdark, darkling, fuzzy, murky, obscure, shadowy, vague; ambiguous, equivocal; imponderable, incomprehensible, unfathomable, unintelligible, unsearchable; inexplicable, unaccountable, unexplainable; unanswerable, unknowable; metaphysical, mystical, numinous, supernatural; abstruse, esoteric, recondite; baffling, befuddling, bewildering, confounding, confusing, disorienting, mystifying, perplexing, puzzling
Near Antonymsfathomable, intelligible, understandable; apparent, clear, evident, manifest, obvious, open-and-shut, palpable, patent, perspicuous, plain, straightforward, transparent, unambiguous, unequivocal, unmistakable
Synonym Discussion of enigmatic
- obscure poems
- muttered dark hints of revenge
- a vague sense of obligation
- enigmatic occult writings
- cryptic hints of hidden treasure
- an ambiguous directive
- moral precepts with equivocal phrasing
ENIGMATIC Defined for English Language Learners
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up enigmatic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).