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as in ambiguous
having an often intentionally veiled or uncertain meaning the oracle offered only cryptic predictions that could be interpreted any number of different ways

Synonyms & Similar Words

Antonyms & Near Antonyms

Synonym Chooser

How is the word cryptic different from other adjectives like it?

Some common synonyms of cryptic are ambiguous, dark, enigmatic, equivocal, obscure, and vague. While all these words mean "not clearly understandable," cryptic implies a purposely concealed meaning.

cryptic hints of hidden treasure

When is it sensible to use ambiguous instead of cryptic?

While the synonyms ambiguous and cryptic are close in meaning, ambiguous applies to language capable of more than one interpretation.

an ambiguous directive

In what contexts can dark take the place of cryptic?

The words dark and cryptic can be used in similar contexts, but dark implies an imperfect or clouded revelation often with ominous or sinister suggestion.

muttered dark hints of revenge

When might enigmatic be a better fit than cryptic?

The words enigmatic and cryptic are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, enigmatic stresses a puzzling, mystifying quality.

enigmatic occult writings

When can equivocal be used instead of cryptic?

Although the words equivocal and cryptic have much in common, equivocal applies to language left open to differing interpretations with the intention of deceiving or evading.

moral precepts with equivocal phrasing

When would obscure be a good substitute for cryptic?

While in some cases nearly identical to cryptic, obscure implies a hiding or veiling of meaning through some inadequacy of expression or withholding of full knowledge.

obscure poems

When could vague be used to replace cryptic?

The synonyms vague and cryptic are sometimes interchangeable, but vague implies a lack of clear formulation due to inadequate conception or consideration.

a vague sense of obligation

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Thesaurus Entries Near cryptic

Cite this Entry

“Cryptic.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/cryptic. Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.

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