cryptic

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj cryptic having a puzzling terseness "a cryptic note"
    • adj cryptic having a secret or hidden meaning "cabalistic symbols engraved in stone","cryptic writings","thoroughly sibylline in most of his pronouncements"- John Gunther"
    • adj cryptic of an obscure nature "the new insurance policy is written without cryptic or mysterious terms","a deep dark secret","the inscrutable workings of Providence","in its mysterious past it encompasses all the dim origins of life"- Rachel Carson","rituals totally mystifying to visitors from other lands"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Cryptic having a puzzling terseness; as, a cryptic note.
    • Cryptic having a secret or hidden meaning; as, cryptic symbols engraved in stone; cryptic writings.
    • a Cryptic Hidden; secret; occult. "Her [nature's] more cryptic ways of working."
    • Cryptic incomprehensible to those not familiar with the culture or jargon; as, the new insurance policy is written without cryptic or mysterious terms.
    • Cryptic not evident; unrecognized; as, a cryptic infection.
    • Cryptic written in a code or cipher; as, a cryptic message.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • cryptic Hidden; secret; occult.
    • n cryptic The art of recording any discourse so that the meaning is concealed from ordinary readers.
    • cryptic In biology, serving to conceal or fitted for concealing an organism.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adjs Cryptic hidden: secret: unseen
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. crypticus, Gr. kryptiko`s, fr. kry`ptein to hide
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. crypta—Gr. kryptēkryptein, to conceal. Doublet of Grot.

Usage

In literature:

His answer, tho, was in a measure evasive, not to say cryptic.
"Sundry Accounts" by Irvin S. Cobb
It looked at me, eyeless and cryptic.
"Where the World is Quiet" by Henry Kuttner
In the two camera-cases Coburn was sure that he had the cryptic device that was responsible for the failure of a cold-war raid.
"The Invaders" by William Fitzgerald Jenkins
Her cryptic description was sufficient to anyone who knows New York rooming houses.
"The Deaves Affair" by Hulbert Footner
It is not to be denied that he extracted some cold comfort from that last cryptic remark.
"Cynthia's Chauffeur" by Louis Tracy
Perhaps, if he annoyed her sufficiently, she might explain that cryptic taunt.
"The Silent Barrier" by Louis Tracy
Cryptic colouring is commonly associated with other aids in the struggle for life.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 6, Slice 6" by Various
She is not merely intelligent, but intelligible; her art has no cryptic side.
"Artists Past and Present" by Elisabeth Luther Cary
Alcorn, mulling over the cryptic half-knowledge gained from the clippings, wondered what the little psychiatrist might make of it.
"Assignment's End" by Roger Dee
He spoke cryptic words into the microphone, then dropped into a language that was unfamiliar to Chet.
"Brood of the Dark Moon" by Charles Willard Diffin
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In poetry:

"Spectral church with cryptic niche
I will seek no more;
That the holiest Grail is, which
Helps the need most sore!"
"The Sangreal" by George MacDonald
What tidings do the billows bring
And cry in vain upon the strand?
If we might only understand
The brooklet's cryptic murmuring!
"The Meaning" by Clark Ashton Smith
When, in what maze of spacial bound,
Or cryptic glooms that wall the grave,
Hast heard the secret which we crave
From that inscrutable Profound?
"The Testimony of the Suns" by George Sterling
I mentioned my demon to a friend
and the friend swam in oil and came forth to me
greasy and cryptic
and said,
"I'm thinking of taking him out of hock.
I pawned him years ago."
"Demon" by Anne Sexton
Know you the gulfs within?
The larvae, the minotaurs of labyrinths undared?
The somber foam of seas by cryptic sirens shared?
The pestilence and sin
Borne by the flapping shroud of liches met within?
"Interrogation" by Clark Ashton Smith
And then my noble Danahey rose slowly to his feet,
He lit his pipe triumphantly- the lesson was complete:
A maze of lines and cryptic signs and leads and runner-ups,
Like visions high imagined by a spider in his cups.
"The Road to Danahey's" by John O Brien

In news:

Even for a laconic personality like George Norcross, the message was cryptic.
When he ran for governor in 2010, Jerry Brown traded on cryptic pledges - most notably "no new taxes without voter approval" - that, like pronouncements by the Oracle at Delphi, could mean whatever listeners wanted to hear.
For Akin Fernandez, Cryptic Messages Became Music To His Ears.
She is quick to laugh as she explains her cryptic moniker.
Programming for Children, Minus Cryptic Syntax .
As the cryptic clues continue, they may shake your world and shatter your peace of mind.
About three weeks back we received an mysterious package at Meal Ticket HQ containing a T-shirt emblazoned with cryptic Toynbee tile-inspired phraseology about gelatin.
(AP) — A look at a Facebook page identified as belonging to Jacob Tyler Roberts shows the 22-year-old hanging out with friends much like other Facebook pages — but with a cryptic cover photo at the top.
' Anchorman 2' director Adam McKay gives some cryptic clues about the sequel's plot.
If the title seems cryptic to you, it wasn't meant to be but apparently Fig Newtons aren't hip and cool.
'Exit Through the Gift Shop ': Banksy's Cryptic Campaign to Win an Oscar.
Natural Tonic Center is the official name of the health-food store near the post office on Warner Avenue in Huntington Beach—but on the marquee for the shop is the ever-cryptic " Health Food ".
Clinton's cryptic quote causes frustration.
A cryptic quote from Bill Clinton about how dealing with climate change will affect the economy is causing quite a stir in political circles and the blogosphere.
Paul Thomas Anderson's film features fine performances by Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman but is cryptic to no good end.
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In science:

Equation (6.44) may seem a bit cryptic, but it becomes much more clear if one uses the explicit expression for the Iwasawa decomposition.
Random matrix theory and symmetric spaces
Are there any structures for which a1 can be reduced to 1, but at least one of a2 , a3 are nonzero? The second sentence in the paragraph appears to be quite cryptic and at f irst sight appears even self-contradictory.
Contact Geometry of Hyperbolic Equations of Generic Type
At present, there are still a few situations where a minor mistake in a simulation specification can produce a highly cryptic error message (such as “index out of bounds”) that is hard to track down.
Continuum multi-physics modeling with scripting languages: the Nsim simulation compiler prototype for classical field theory
Less cryptically, Gr R contains those ~ı that consist of r copies of 1 and R − r copies of 2.
Autocorrelations of the characteristic polynomial of a random matrix under microscopic scaling
Developmental plasticity and the origin of novel forms: unveiling cryptic genetic variation via"use and disuse".
A Developmental Network Theory of Gynandromorphs, Sexual Dimorphism and Species Formation
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