adjective Etymology: Late Latin crypticus, from Greek kryptikos, from kryptos Date: circa 1638 1. secret, occult 2. a. having or seeming to have a hidden or ambiguous meaning ; mysterious <
cryptic messages
b. marked by an often perplexing brevity <
cryptic marginal notes
3. serving to conceal <
cryptic coloration in animals
; also exhibiting cryptic coloration <
cryptic animals
4. not recognized <
a cryptic infection
5. employing cipher or code Synonyms: see obscurecryptically adverb

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cryptic — Cryp tic (kr[i^]p t[i^]k), Cryptical Cryp tic*al ( t? kal), a. [L. crypticus, Gr. kryptiko s, fr. kry ptein to hide.] Hidden; secret; occult. Her [nature s] more cryptic ways of working. Glanvill. [1913 Webster] 2. incomprehensible to those not… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Cryptic — can refer to: Crypsis, of animals that are difficult to observe Cryptic crossword, a crossword with cryptic clues Cryptic era, earliest period of the Earth Cryptic, an album by Edge of Sanity Cryptic Writings, an album by Megadeth Cryptic Studios …   Wikipedia

  • cryptic — [krip′tik] adj. [LL crypticus < Gr kryptikos < kryptos: see CRYPT] 1. a) having a hidden or ambiguous meaning; mysterious; baffling [a cryptic comment] b) obscure and curt in expression 2. Zool. serving to conceal, as the form or coloring… …   English World dictionary

  • cryptic — index covert, debatable, disputable, enigmatic, esoteric, hidden, indefinable, indefinite, indeterminate …   Law dictionary

  • cryptic — 1630s, hidden, occult, mystical, from L.L. crypticus, from Gk. kryptikos fit for concealing, from kryptos hidden (see CRYPT (Cf. crypt)). Meaning mysterious, enigmatic is recorded from 1920. Related: Cryptically …   Etymology dictionary

  • cryptic — enigmatic, *obscure, dark, vague, ambiguous, equivocal Analogous words: puzzling, perplexing, mystifying (see PUZZLE vb): occult, esoteric, *recondite: *mysterious, arcane …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • cryptic — [adj] secret; obscure in meaning abstruse, ambiguous, apocryphal, arcane, cabalistic, dark, Delphian, Delphic, enigmatic, equivocal, esoteric, evasive, hidden, incomprehensible, inexplicable, murky, mysterious, mystic, mystical, mystifying,… …   New thesaurus

  • cryptic — ► ADJECTIVE 1) mysterious or obscure in meaning. 2) (of a crossword) having difficult clues which indicate the solutions indirectly. 3) Zoology serving to camouflage an animal in its natural environment. DERIVATIVES cryptically adverb. ORIGIN… …   English terms dictionary

  • cryptic —    Having or seeming to have a hidden or ambiguous meaning; mysterious; often marked by an often perplexing brevity. Cryptic sometimes carries the deeper sense of secrecy or the occult, and is often sensed in Dada and in surrealist works. The… …   Glossary of Art Terms

  • cryptic — Anything hidden. 1. Structurally heterozygous individuals that are not identifiable as they do not show abnormal meiotic chromosome pairing configurations ( cryptic structural hybrids ). 2. A form of polymorphism controlled by recessive genes (… …   Glossary of Biotechnology

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