enigmatic

variants also enigmatical
1
2
as in dark
having an often intentionally veiled or uncertain meaning the Mona Lisa's enigmatic smile

Synonyms & Similar Words

Antonyms & Near Antonyms

Synonym Chooser

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

Some common synonyms of enigmatic are ambiguous, cryptic, dark, equivocal, obscure, and vague. While all these words mean "not clearly understandable," enigmatic stresses a puzzling, mystifying quality.

enigmatic occult writings

When could ambiguous be used to replace enigmatic?

In some situations, the words ambiguous and enigmatic are roughly equivalent. However, ambiguous applies to language capable of more than one interpretation.

an ambiguous directive

When is cryptic a more appropriate choice than enigmatic?

The meanings of cryptic and enigmatic largely overlap; however, cryptic implies a purposely concealed meaning.

cryptic hints of hidden treasure

In what contexts can dark take the place of enigmatic?

While in some cases nearly identical to enigmatic, dark implies an imperfect or clouded revelation often with ominous or sinister suggestion.

muttered dark hints of revenge

When can equivocal be used instead of enigmatic?

Although the words equivocal and enigmatic 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 enigmatic?

The synonyms obscure and enigmatic are sometimes interchangeable, but obscure implies a hiding or veiling of meaning through some inadequacy of expression or withholding of full knowledge.

obscure poems

Where would vague be a reasonable alternative to enigmatic?

The words vague and enigmatic can be used in similar contexts, but vague implies a lack of clear formulation due to inadequate conception or consideration.

a vague sense of obligation

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Cite this Entry

“Enigmatic.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/enigmatic. Accessed 3 Feb. 2023.

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