Definitions

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

  • n. One that is puzzling, ambiguous, or inexplicable.
  • n. A perplexing speech or text; a riddle.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Something puzzling, mysterious or inexplicable.
  • n. A riddle, or a difficult problem.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A dark, obscure, or inexplicable saying; a riddle; a statement, the hidden meaning of which is to be discovered or guessed.
  • n. An action, mode of action, or thing, which cannot be satisfactorily explained; a puzzle.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A dark saying or representation, in which some known thing is concealed under obscure words or forms; a question, saying, figure, or design containing a hidden meaning which is proposed for discovery; a riddle.
  • n. Anything inexplicable to an observer, such as the means by which something is effected, the motive for a course of conduct, the cause of a phenomenon, etc.: as, how it was done is an enigma; his conduct is to me an enigma.

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

  • n. a difficult problem
  • n. something that baffles understanding and cannot be explained

Etymologies

Latin aenigma, from Greek ainigma, from ainissesthai, ainig-, to speak in riddles, from ainos, fable.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin aenigma ("riddle"), from Ancient Greek αἴνιγμα (ainigma, "dark saying, riddle"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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Comments

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  • He called me an Enigma and I laughed. It means, "One that is puzzling, ambiguous, or inexplicable. A perplexing speech or text; a riddle." Maybe in the sense that I cannot feel, speak in metaphors, and dream while awake. Hah... maybe he's right.

    June 29, 2009