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
Steve Bannon, the enigmatic but influential strategist who joined Donald Trump’s campaign at a low ebb, helped coax a win in the 2016 election from it, and then won acclaim and hatred as Trump’s eminence grise, is leaving the White House.
Teen Vogue caught up with Lily-Rose to talk about the film, and why Zlotowski's enigmatic script caught her attention.
Howland Reed is obviously supposed to be the most mysterious, enigmatic character in the series.
On June 19 in a courtroom in Downtown Brooklyn, a federal judge took up the enigmatic case of an individual known as John Doe.
The dueling, enigmatic leads performed pure, unadulterated rock turned up to 11 . . .
A catastrophic explosion has destroyed pretty much everything on the island—including a biology lab—except an enigmatic robot named DOC73R-CY3N53 who ends up being your antagonist.
Bowen creates an enigmatic figure whose motivations are difficult to discern.
The culprit was an enigmatic cousin of the sea squirts: giant pyrosomes.
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
Definition of enigmatic for English Language Learners
: full of mystery and difficult to understand
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).