enigmatic

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj enigmatic resembling an oracle in obscurity of thought "the oracular sayings of Victorian poets","so enigmatic that priests might have to clarify it","an enigmatic smile"
    • adj enigmatic not clear to the understanding "I didn't grasp the meaning of that enigmatic comment until much later","prophetic texts so enigmatic that their meaning has been disputed for centuries"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • a Enigmatic Relating to or resembling an enigma; not easily explained or accounted for; darkly expressed; not clear to the understanding; obscure; puzzling; as, an enigmatical answer; I didn't grasp the meaning of that enigmatical comment until much later; prophetic texts so enigmatical that their meaning has been disputed for centuries.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • enigmatic Relating to or containing an enigma; obscure; darkly expressed or indicated; ambiguous.
    • enigmatic Synonyms Mysterious, puzzling, dark, recondite.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adjs Enigmatic relating to, containing, or resembling an enigma: obscure: puzzling
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Quotations

  • Aldous Huxley
    Aldous%20Huxley
    “The charm of history and its enigmatic lesson consist in the fact that, from age to age, nothing changes and yet everything is completely different.”
  • Edward Dahlberg
    Edward%20Dahlberg
    “Everything ultimately fails, for we die, and that is either the penultimate failure or our most enigmatical achievement.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Cf. F. énigmatique,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. ænigma—Gr. ainigmaainissesthai, to speak darkly—ainos, a fable.

Usage

In literature:

He answered them enigmatically.
"The Drummer Boy" by John Trowbridge
He saw her looking at him, and he flashed one enigmatical glance into her eyes, and rose to go out.
"Wayside Courtships" by Hamlin Garland
These vast and enigmatic objects do not throw much light on the origin of our own solar system.
"The Outline of Science, Vol. 1 (of 4)" by J. Arthur Thomson
He couldn't go away while the other man's plans remained enigmatical; but he wished he hadn't come.
"The Letter of the Contract" by Basil King
Certainly a most involved, self-secluded, altogether enigmatic nature, this of Teufelsdroeckh!
"Sartor Resartus, and On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History" by Thomas Carlyle
From time to time he tossed at the Nabob, across the table, sentences that were enigmatical to everybody.
"The Nabob, Volume 1 (of 2)" by Alphonse Daudet
He saw her looking at him, and he flashed one enigmatical glance into her eyes, and rose to go out.
"Other Main-Travelled Roads" by Hamlin Garland
Was this the explanation of Tootie's rather enigmatical remarks down by the stream?
"For the Sake of the School" by Angela Brazil
He also accompanies his directions with various gesticulations and enigmatical expressions.
"Traditions of the North American Indians, Vol. 1 (of 3)" by James Athearn Jones
She was an enigmatic rogue, so clever that to most she seemed of unplumbed stupidity.
"Little Novels of Italy" by Maurice Henry Hewlett
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In poetry:

A loss is always enigmatic.
I hunt for clues to no avail,
And rack my brains in fruitless torment:
Death has no lineaments at all.
"In Memory of Marina Tsvetaeva" by Boris Pasternak
Found on a fading album page,
Dim will it seem and enigmatic,
Like words traced on a tomb, a relic
Of some long dead and vanished age.
"Lyric written in 1830" by Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin
I, lingering in your palaced town,
Asudden, 'neath some beetling pile,
Catch sight of Dante's awful frown,
Or Vinci's enigmatic smile;
"Florence" by Alfred Austin
While at her side another went
With gleams of enigmatic white?
A spirit who distributes scent,
To vale and height,
In footsteps of the rosy light?
"Occult" by Madison Julius Cawein
Yet certain fearless souls have dwelt
Within that haunted pile;
Among them she, whose portrait still,
With enigmatic smile,
Lights up the mansion, like a gem
Set in a tarnished diadem;--
"Villa Pliniana" by John Lawson Stoddard
And there were verdurous courts that scalloped arches wreathed,
Where fountains plashed in bowls of lapis lazuli.
Through enigmatic doors voluptuous accents breathed,
And having Youth I had their Open Sesame.
"The Sultan's Palace" by Alan Seeger

In news:

Like its two main characters, "The Master" is enigmatic and engaging, but its message is lost in the wake of two outstanding acting performances and provides more questions than answers.
Exquisite and wholly original, "Magnificence" is Lydia Millet 's third novel about the Lindley family and their enigmatic friend, T.
A visitor looks at enigmatic American artist Andy Warhol 's 'Campbell's Soup Cans' at the Tate Modern in London 05 February 2002.
But when it comes to the enigmatic leader, the truth is stranger than fiction.
This somewhat enigmatic New Zealand-born director is probably unknown to most audiences, however his sparse filmography (he's only directed three films in the last twelve years), is most likely not.
'Big Bang Theory's' Mrs Wolowitz is the latest in a long line of enigmatic invisible TV characters.
' Big Bang Theory's' Mrs Wolowitz is the latest in a long line of enigmatic invisible TV characters.
' Big Bang Theory 's' Mrs Wolowitz is the latest in a long line of enigmatic invisible TV characters.
Longtime collaborators discuss their enigmatic lead character .
The Cottonwood Club is an enigmatic cave of expression housing a free venue for artists in the valley.
Nicknamed for the enigmatic actress Greta Garbo, Garcia's own performance was so convincing he fooled Hitler himself.
Longtime collaborators discuss their enigmatic lead character.
The ever enigmatic Black Moth Super Rainbow never appear sans masks in promo pictures.
Though he launched his first run for president more than five years ago, Mitt Romney is still widely seen as an enigmatic figure.
Cumberbatch will portray the enigmatic svengali in a new movie produced by Tom Hanks and his business partner Gary Goetzman.
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In science:

A multi-wavelength approach has always proven fruitful for understanding enigmatic astrophysical ob jects.
Soft Gamma Repeaters and Anomalous X-ray Pulsars: Magnetar Candidates
We conclude that, where the highest energy cosmic rays are concerned, both the accelerator mechanism and the particle physics are enigmatic.
Lepton Photon Symposium 2005: Summary and Outlook
Gamma Ray Bursts (GRBs), discovered serendipitously in the 1960’s, are among the most fascinating and enigmatic objects in all of high-energy astrophysics.
The Status of VHE Gamma-Ray Astronomy
At the same time, there remain a host of poorly understood features of baryonic matter in the present era, and among the most enigmatic, is the weak interaction between quarks.
Nuclei as Laboratories: Nuclear Tests of Fundamental Symmetries
The weak interactions of quarks at low energies remain enigmatic, despite decades of theoretical and experimental scrutiny.
Nuclei as Laboratories: Nuclear Tests of Fundamental Symmetries
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