Definitions

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

  • adj. Of or resembling an enigma; puzzling: a professor's enigmatic grading system. See Synonyms at ambiguous.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Pertaining to an enigma.
  • adj. Mysterious.
  • adj. Defying description.
  • adj. Enigmatical.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Relating to or resembling an enigma; not easily explained or accounted for; darkly expressed; not clear to the understanding; obscure; puzzling.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Relating to or containing an enigma; obscure; darkly expressed or indicated; ambiguous.
  • Synonyms Mysterious, puzzling, dark, recondite.

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

  • adj. not clear to the understanding
  • adj. resembling an oracle in obscurity of thought

Etymologies

Greek ainigmatikos, from ainigma, ainigmat-, riddle; see enigma.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • He thought her prominent nose and firm chin formed an exquisite profile, and he was fascinated by what he called her enigmatic Mona Lisa smile.

    Portrait of An Artist

  • Rather than offering didactic explanations for each aesthetic decision, artists may rediscover the value in enigmatic, emotionally-rooted work whose meaning is intuitively derived and not so easily explained.

    Sharon L. Butler: Abstract Expressionist New York: Line and Legacy

  • By the way, I called her enigmatic because, while unlike the Pundit, she does have a picture posted on her blog, it's not particularly helpful in figuring out what she really looks like:

    Three Blogs For May

  • They turn up and disappear, leaving traces and clues, but remain enigmatic, ambiguous.

    Naguib Mahfouz – The Son of Two Civilizations

  • Arbuthnot on his arrival will find his wife in enigmatic tears.

    The Enchanted April

  • Gianbattista and Lucia conversed in a low tone, in short, enigmatic phrases.

    Marzio's Crucifix and Zoroaster

  • Noting some short term enigmatic inflation and deflationary cycles we will be experiencing for some time.

    SeekingAlpha.com: Home Page

  • Ooh, and they were "enigmatic" -- a pasty, poker-faced duo who dressed only in red, white and black, did not appear in their debut video (they used LEGOs and animation instead) and left people guessing about whether they were husband and wife or brother and sister.

    The Second Coming

  • * Amy Pond is described as "enigmatic" - so does she arrive with a built-in mystery?

    SFX

  • A certain enigmatic quality, even the occasional feeling of being out of one’s depth, is necessary if a spy novel is not to feel like a boys’ adventure.

    A Man of Action

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