Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Having hidden meaning; mystifying. See Synonyms at ambiguous.
  • adj. Secret or occult.
  • adj. Using code or cipher.
  • adj. Biology Tending to conceal or camouflage: cryptic coloring.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Having hidden meaning.
  • adj. Mystified or of an obscure nature.
  • adj. Involving use of code or cipher/cypher.
  • adj. Well camouflaged; having good camouflage.
  • n. A cryptic crossword.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Hidden; secret; occult.
  • adj. incomprehensible to those not familiar with the culture or jargon.
  • adj. having a secret or hidden meaning.
  • adj. having a puzzling terseness.
  • adj. not evident; unrecognized.
  • adj. written in a code or cipher.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Hidden; secret; occult.
  • n. The art of recording any discourse so that the meaning is concealed from ordinary readers.
  • In biology, serving to conceal or fitted for concealing an organism.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. of an obscure nature
  • adj. having a secret or hidden meaning
  • adj. having a puzzling terseness

Etymologies

Late Latin crypticus, from Greek kruptikos, from kruptos, hidden, from kruptein, to hide.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Late Latin crypticus, from Ancient Greek κρυπτικός (kruptikos), from κρυπτός (kruptos, "hidden"), from κρύπτω (kruptō, "to hide"). Also see: cryptology. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Here are a couple of verses written in cryptic rhyme from some of my currently published books.

    Writer Unboxed » Blog Archive » INTERVIEW: Verla Kay, Part 1

  • I call it cryptic rhyme because I write short, clipped, descriptive verses that paint vivid, concise pictures using almost no full sentences.

    Writer Unboxed » Blog Archive » INTERVIEW: Verla Kay, Part 1

  • I bring it to you vintage wine in a bottle new its in Hindi cryptic on cue shot at my house by a friendly camera crew giving a devil his bejeweled sartorial due

    Archive 2009-10-01

  • You have more guts than I do because I remain cryptic on my blog but you and I are in the same place.

    Untitled

  • Good: [begin cryptic] Am getting the coolest of all possible presents.

    November 21st, 2005

  • My Mesdames communicated with each other in cryptic ways, but after all my years in their company I was privy to their keys.

    Excerpt: The Book of Salt by Monique Truong

  • Although T.Q.D.'s recent songs have lightened up a bit compared with older lyrics that he described as "cryptic," almost all of "Taketh Away" addresses topics from love to day-to-day struggles in a serious tone.

    www.startribune.com

  • "That's called 'cryptic foreshadowing,' " Ashley gasped.

    The Horror Movie That Was Only in My Head

  • In the forests the endemic species include, for example, a new genus and species only named a few years ago called the cryptic warbler (Cryptosylvicola randrianasoloi), the yellow-browed oxylabes (Crossleyia xanthophrys), and the brown emutail (Dromaeocercus brunneus).

    Madagascar subhumid forests

  • When you must converse with others, you speak a cryptic language of acronyms decipherable only by another geek.

    Archive 2007-05-01

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