enigmatic

adjective
enig·​mat·​ic | \ ˌe-(ˌ)nig-ˈma-tik How to pronounce enigmatic (audio) also ˌē-(ˌ)nig- \
variants: or less commonly enigmatical \ ˌe-​(ˌ)nig-​ˈma-​ti-​kəl How to pronounce enigmatic (audio) also  ˌē-​(ˌ)nig-​ \

Definition of enigmatic

: of, relating to, or resembling an enigma : mysterious

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Other Words from enigmatic

enigmatically \ ˌe-​(ˌ)nig-​ˈma-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce enigmatic (audio) also  ˌē-​(ˌ)nig-​ \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for enigmatic

obscure, dark, vague, enigmatic, cryptic, ambiguous, equivocal mean not clearly understandable. obscure implies a hiding or veiling of meaning through some inadequacy of expression or withholding of full knowledge. obscure poems dark implies an imperfect or clouded revelation often with ominous or sinister suggestion. muttered dark hints of revenge vague implies a lack of clear formulation due to inadequate conception or consideration. a vague sense of obligation enigmatic stresses a puzzling, mystifying quality. enigmatic occult writings cryptic implies a purposely concealed meaning. cryptic hints of hidden treasure ambiguous applies to language capable of more than one interpretation. an ambiguous directive equivocal applies to language left open to differing interpretations with the intention of deceiving or evading. moral precepts with equivocal phrasing

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.

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
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Recent Examples on the Web The backstory of the enigmatic stingray will probably always remain in doubt. Doug Maccash, NOLA.com, "The Broad Street stingray: A mysterious rotting fish spurs a smelly search in New Orleans," 14 Jan. 2021 Meanwhile, having stayed largely loyal to Warner Bros. since Batman: Year One, Aronofsky directs the enigmatic, allegorical horror film mother!, set to be released in late 2020. Joe Reid, Vulture, "What Happens in the Mirror Universe Where Darren Aronofsky Made Batman Instead of Christopher Nolan?," 12 Jan. 2021 Play with your aesthetic, flirt, and socialize as charming Venus makes a trine with enigmatic Uranus in retrograde. Venus Australis, refinery29.com, "Your Horoscope This Week," 10 Jan. 2021 But perhaps one of the best parts about the series is the enigmatic identity of Lady Whistledown (voiced by Julie Andrews), the town's anonymous gossip columnist who shakes up Regency-era London with her all-knowing scandal sheet. Hannah Jeon, Good Housekeeping, "Who Is Lady Whistledown in 'Bridgerton'? All the Clues You Missed From the Netflix Drama," 4 Jan. 2021 Little tabletop stage sets for enigmatic dramas, enacted by doll-like figures and encased in plexiglass boxes. Los Angeles Times, "Roland Reiss dies at 91, leaving a 60-year legacy as L.A. artist and educator," 31 Dec. 2020 One of the most celebrated, unpredictable and enigmatic figures in independent hip-hop, Dumile was born in London, but relocated to New York City as a child. Jordan Moreau, chicagotribune.com, "Rapper MF Doom dies at 49, his wife says. She posted news of his Oct. 31 death Thursday," 31 Dec. 2020 One of the most celebrated, unpredictable and enigmatic figures in independent hip-hop, Dumile was born in London, but relocated to New York City as a child. NBC News, "Masked rapper MF Doom dies at 49," 31 Dec. 2020 Daniel Dumile, the legendary and enigmatic rapper known as MF Doom, has died at age 49, according to his family. Christian Holub, EW.com, "Legendary masked rapper MF Doom dead at 49," 31 Dec. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of enigmatic

1609, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for enigmatic

see enigma

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Time Traveler for enigmatic

Time Traveler

The first known use of enigmatic was in 1609

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Last Updated

25 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Enigmatic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enigmatic. Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for enigmatic

enigmatic

adjective
How to pronounce enigmatic (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of enigmatic

: full of mystery and difficult to understand

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