re·​con·​dite | \ ˈre-kən-ˌdīt How to pronounce recondite (audio) , ri-ˈkän- How to pronounce recondite (audio) \

Definition of recondite

1 : difficult or impossible for one of ordinary understanding or knowledge to comprehend : deep a recondite subject
2 : of, relating to, or dealing with something little known or obscure recondite fact about the origin of the holiday— Floyd Dell
3 : hidden from sight : concealed

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Other Words from recondite

reconditely adverb
reconditeness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for recondite



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Did You Know?

While recondite may be used to describe something difficult to understand, there is nothing recondite about the word's history. It dates to the early 1600s, when it was coined from the synonymous Latin word reconditus. Recondite is one of those underused but useful words that's always a boon to one's vocabulary, but take off the re- and you get something very obscure: condite is an obsolete verb meaning both "to pickle or preserve" and "to embalm." If we add the prefix in- to condite we get incondite, which means "badly put together," as in "incondite prose." All three words have Latin condere at their root; that verb is translated variously as "to put or bring together," "to put up, store," and "to conceal."

Examples of recondite in a Sentence

geochemistry is a recondite subject
Recent Examples on the Web Many seem like remnants from a circa-2000 vogue for recondite, inscrutable maps and diagrams, produced by artists like Matthew Ritchie, Mark Lombardi and Franz Ackermann. Jason Farago, New York Times, "Julie Mehretu’s Long Journey Home," 25 Mar. 2021 Her methods might at first glance seem forbiddingly recondite, but the effect of her music is visceral and immediate. Matthew Aucoin, The New York Review of Books, "Opera at the Edge," 7 Dec. 2019 Any program that did would be too recondite to stay on the air, the work of David Lynch being a glorious exception. Christian Lorentzen, Harper's magazine, "Like This or Die," 10 Apr. 2019 There are more recondite practices, such as classical and biblical names (Sophocles’ and Jesus’), but this set is the basics. John E. Mcintyre,, "Yes, you too can make plurals and possessives," 6 June 2018 Like other technology conceived for recondite purpose but found to have broad application, the air around the blockchain is thick with analogy and metaphor. Stephen Phillips, San Francisco Chronicle, "New tech books: ‘Conspiracy,’ ‘Broad Band,’ ‘The Truth Machine’," 1 June 2018 Dense, challenging, aphoristic and swarming with recondite allusions and puns, these novels display an authoritative grasp of a breathtaking range of subjects. New York Times, "Notes From the Book Review Archives," 13 Apr. 2018 The answer, the recondite answer, is that the best decisions are always born out of full consideration of the ghastly alternatives: only fools look solely at the most desirable ones. Anthony Mccarten,, "A daunting task: Writing the words to put in Winston Churchill's mouth," 21 Dec. 2017 Defoar is a tall, slender man of 40, with a weathered face and a taste for explaining recondite things like ruminant nutrition— John E. Mcintyre,, "In a word: recondite," 31 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'recondite.' 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 recondite

1619, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for recondite

Latin reconditus, past participle of recondere to conceal, from re- + condere to store up, from com- + -dere to put — more at com-, do

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Time Traveler for recondite

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The first known use of recondite was in 1619

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Last Updated

7 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Recondite.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of recondite

formal : not understood or known by many people

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