Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Known or understood by only a few: synonym: mysterious.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Hidden; secret.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective obsolete Hidden; secret.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Understood by only a few; obscure; requiring secret or mysterious knowledge.

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

  • adjective requiring secret or mysterious knowledge

Etymologies

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

[Latin arcānus, secret, from arca, chest.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin arcanus ("hidden, secret"), from arcere ("to shut up"), arca ("a chest").

Examples

  • To be attributed the concept arcane, on this view, it suffices that S uses the expression ˜arcane™ by and large correctly, ˜in keeping with its content™ “ if she is committed to her community practice of using the corresponding expression

    The Normativity of Meaning and Content

  • They were covered in arcane tattoos, but none of them were of Set, the serpent god that Conan, like most westerners abhorred.

    Archive 2009-12-01

  • Like its predecessor, "The Lost Symbol" offers a mini-course in arcane historical detail (did you know that the Capitol once had an eternal flame burning beneath the floor under its rotunda?).

    Fiction

  • Dan Brown "shows us" the nation's capital, causes millions to "re-think" Christianity, and "offers a mini-course in arcane historical detail."

    Pop Culture

  • Dan Brown "shows us" the nation's capital, causes millions to "re-think" Christianity, and "offers a mini-course in arcane historical detail."

    Fiction

  • They were covered in arcane tattoos, but none of them were of Set, the serpent god that Conan, like most westerners abhorred.

    Conan Fan Fiction!

  • A Stygian this time, his face tattooed in arcane designs that had been old when Acheron was new to the world.

    Archive 2009-12-01

  • Like its predecessor, "The Lost Symbol" offers a mini-course in arcane historical detail (did you know that the Capitol once had an eternal flame burning beneath the floor under its rotunda?).

    Insight Scoop | The Ignatius Press Blog:

  • A Stygian this time, his face tattooed in arcane designs that had been old when Acheron was new to the world.

    Conan Fan Fiction!

  • Dan Brown "shows us" the nation's capital, causes millions to "re-think" Christianity, and "offers a mini-course in arcane historical detail."

    Insight Scoop | The Ignatius Press Blog:

Comments

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  • “I sometimes pepper a conversation with a bit of arcane little morbid facts,�? said the Comtesse.

    July 18, 2008